The election has been a wake-up call for the 53% of this country who did not vote for Donald Trump. As an active supporter and chief fundraiser for Hillary Clinton, I spent the last two years fighting for something larger than Democratic or Republican ideals. I chose my side in this fight because I was fighting for women.
Our new leader does not treat parents well. He does not treat women well. He shames moms for feeding in public. He looks at women who aren’t “10s” in disgust. He lets people who have no idea of what women go through make decisions for our minds, our bodies, and our futures. The incoming administration threatens everyone who doesn’t fit into its narrow view of what America should be.
We can’t—we won’t—let that continue.
That’s just one of the reasons why Ellie Bahrmasel (a veteran of Mayor Emanuel’s team) and I started RISE movement. RISE is a movement of organizers dedicated to healing the divide in America. We already have hundreds of volunteers: Some come from Chicago’s tech community, which is our home base, but many others are concerned citizens who simply want to pitch in and help make this country better. We hope to have volunteers from all over the United States of all races, genders, and languages.
Our core values include a desire for diversity—which includes supporting diverse candidates running for office across the country—as well as a belief in the dangers of climate change, badly-run media, echo chambers, and the harassment of citizens facing economic uncertainty and potential political retribution or harassment.
We’re starting out with a simple premise: To listen and understand. This winter we’ll be visiting local communities that voted along class lines—the silos that we’re not usually in—to find economic policy that reaches across the aisle. We want to have an initial draft of talking points and policy by spring that we can use to make a new narrative.
Because of our tech backgrounds, we also want to make sure the tech community everywhere is thinking about how to create new jobs as old industries become obsolete. Self-driving cars alone are expected to remove 10 million jobs in the next decade. More than half the jobs that Trump talked about going overseas were removed due to tech optimization and disruption. We need get ahead of this problem before millions of jobs are lost. If we have people smart enough to invent self-driving cars, we can surely harness that brainpower to tackle the issue of how to employ those displaced.
Our eventual goal is getting government to accurately represent this diverse nation. We’ll start with key offices that are opening in 2018 and 2020, but to follow that in future years with a full scale mapping and data gathering of all electoral openings in the US (more than 516,000 of them) and use that data to begin a groundswell to retake the necessary offices to take back the White House.
This is a pivotal point in American politics. We have to communicate to the millions of Americans who voted for Trump that they have a better choice. Our democracy needs our support and we’re going to do everything we can to help it rise again. We must re-unite the United States of America.