Reproductive rights. Economic and racial justice. LGBT rights. There are an overwhelming amount of issues that Elizabeth Jacobs said she wants to take action on in this political climate.
She came to “Day of Action” to find out how she can become politically involved.
The Monroe County chapter of the National Organization for Women presented the event Saturday at First United Church in Bloomington for people to learn about ways to take political action. NOW is a feminist advocacy organization focused on six keys issues, including reproductive rights and justice, ending violence against women, economic justice, racial justice, LGBT rights and constitutional equality.
The event included multiple stations for people to write letters to legislators and letters to newspapers, brainstorm issues for the group to address and participate in a campaign to encourage Rep. Trey Hollingsworth, R-9th District to come to a town hall.
Monroe County NOW leadership council member Elizabeth Winchester said the organization provides the opportunity to get involved with all the different issues women face in the current political climate.
“You don’t feel like you have to spread your energy across too many different organizations, so that is a really useful thing,” she said.
At one station, people wrote down ideas and suggestions for what they wanted to see change on a federal and local level and how NOW could improve.
“Save federal protections for transgender people,” one person wrote.
“MUST find ways to connect with women of color and support them in taking leadership of this initiative,” said another.
At one station, Cathi Crabtree , who is a member on the NOW leadership council, gave people information about how to write to legislators and discussed bills the organization is concerned about on issues of abortion and gun control.
“I think it’s critical to write, to support them when they vote the way we want, but to also let them know how we would like them to vote on other issues,” she said. “You know the other side is doing that, so we need to be on stronger ground from the grassroots than they are.”
Laura Collins, who formed Monroe County NOW, shot videos of people asking Hollingsworth to attend Monroe County’s 9th District Town Hall.
“Hey Trey, let’s talk,” Brenda Stern, 60, said as she faced the camera, holding up a sign featuring a picture of Hollingsworth with the words #HeyTrey.
Monroe County NOW plans to cosponsor the town hall with Indivisible Bloomington. The organization is still planning the event, so the date has not been announced.
Collins said she plans to create a 30 second promo video to share on social media. She said she wants the video to be shared across various social media platforms.
“I’m just trying to draw attention to the fact that Trey Hollingsworth is avoiding people’s emails and phone calls to set up a town hall,” she said. “I sort of want to take it up to the next level.”
The organization plans to have the event whether he shows up or not, so it could be embarrassing for Hollingsworth if he does not appear, Collins said.
She said she is concerned that Hollingsworth is not representing the 9th District as a whole, and she wants him to listen to the people who did not vote for him.
“We didn’t necessarily vote for him, but he represents us, and he needs to listen to us and he needs to talk with us,” Collins said. “How can you ignore us if you’re supposed to represent us?”