When I moved back to Spokane just before the holidays, I made it a priority to get involved in local activism. Because I grew up in the area during the 1990’s, I knew just enough to look for the Peace and Justice Action League. PJALS was very welcoming to me as a newcomer and made it fun and easy for all us new folks to integrate our own ideas into the planning process for the People Rise Up event.
During the event, I had a great time running the Action Bar with the help of my fellow PJALS intern Bailey. The Action Bar provided visitors with a “menu” of ways to contact elected officials. It was a wonderful way to chat with people in the community and introduce them to a few simple ways to take action. I was also lucky to be able to hear most of the speakers, poetry, and music while tending the Action Bar. Hearing so many specific perspectives on how we can help our communities and make a positive change was very moving and motivating.
In the end, what I took away from the entire day is that I’m not alone in Spokane. My concerns about women’s rights, healthcare, immigration rights and so many other things are shared by thousands of friends and allies who showed up for the Women’s March, and by many people who stopped by to talk with us at the Action Bar. Our petition to local officials was signed by many people. Plenty of people also filled out postcards to send to our members of Congress which we plan to deliver personally at meetings with staff at local Congressional offices. Also, it was especially exciting to see how many people filled out Pledges of Resistance to get involved with volunteering for PJALS. I hope to see some of you soon, maybe at our upcoming Leadership Conference!