Once upon a time, a movement asked for your help. And you gave it.
So many of us remember where we were winding into the late hours of July 27, 2017, after months of our movement organizing to defeat Trumpcare: we’d pressured our senators wherever we could find them; forced Schumer to employ that fated procedural maneuver “withholding consent”; made tens of thousands of calls and packed town halls and protested outside of district offices in 100-degree heat.
That moment when the late-Senator McCain walked up to the Senate clerk, stuck out his hand for a few seconds, then gave a thumbs-down is often the climax of the tale. Democrats in the chamber gasped, we at Indivisible HQ gasped, maybe even you gasped if, like us, you were up at 1:00 am that morning watching C-SPAN. The retelling of the road to defeating Trumpcare could be its own email, check out this timeline to get the full picture of all the work that went into our movement’s first win.
Everyone relaxed, assured that they’d have healthcare when they awoke in the morning. It’s a nice story. But that isn’t Indivisibles’ story. Or at least, it definitely wasn’t the end. Our story didn’t relax, nor rest assured. That is not the happily ever after you sought by joining an Indivisible group or supporting Indivisibles’ goals.
Indivisibles continued to organize
The next day, and the next, and all through the month of August, Indivisibles continued to show up to their senators’ offices to let them know that they would not forget what almost happened, what could — and very well did — come back to the floor of the Senate. Across the country, articles were still being written about the crowds of hundreds shouting down senators, booing during their speeches, and holding them accountable for their votes.
And the powers that be began to realize what we’d sensed from the very beginning — Indivisibles were here to stay. Week in, week out, Indivisibles showed up. Through the meetings, die-ins, call-a-thons, office visits, and cardboard cut-outs to build what wasn’t there before. We asked for your help to make it happen.
And you answered.
You, like us, believed that the deceptively simple act of people coming together in their own communities to demand their representatives hear them was a powerful one. You believed that if and when Trumpcare revived, that you could stop it. You believed that engaged groups of constituents from Palco, Kansas; to Lincoln County, Maine; to Prescott, Arizona — and everywhere in between — could change what was politically possible in Washington, DC.
You showed up for each other
Don’t get us wrong — it took a lot of effort. And a lot of tools. And a lot of commitment. But at every step of the journey, we were able to match your drive. Because supporters like you, reading this story, read other stories and said “let me help you.” Maybe you’re a part of your own Indivisible group. Maybe you’re a government employee and supporting Indivisibles from afar was all you could do. Perhaps you’re retired, on a fixed income, and you going to town halls simply isn’t in the cards for you these days.
But you still supported this movement. You mailed checks. You clicked donation buttons. You wrote postcards and letters and made calls when you got the text alerts. However you supported Indivisibles, however you supported this movement, you helped us get here. Together with a powerful coalition of partners, you helped defeat top legislative priorities and eventually top Republican incumbents. That’s the strength of organized constituent power.
Sometimes, it starts by reading an email, much like this one. Sometimes it starts in living rooms with a bunch of people you don’t know. Sometimes it starts with mailing a check. But it ends, much like our fight in 2017, with saving people’s lives.
We need *you* to continue to organize
As Election Day gets further and further behind us, and as we see more and more states conclude their ballot counts and recounts — we know that Indivisibles are not going to stop. Defeating Trump was never the end goal, but a prerequisite for much, much more.
One part of our fight is over, but another one is beginning. We’re hoping that this January will be different, but Indivisibles are ready to activate and organize and make calls and write op-eds and protest with cardboard cut-outs again because we’re working towards restoring and strengthening our democracy.
With Giving Tuesday coming up on December 1, we’re spending the next month reminiscing on our biggest wins and all the hard work that made it possible. Be on the lookout for more emails in this series about the strength of this movement. We’ll be sharing stories all month long, so make sure you’re following us on social media: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. You can also receive updates by texting the word ‘Indivisible’ to 977–79.