Let's Organize Locally and Take Action!

Friends in Pike County,

This is a bit long.  It’s about local organizing & activities (bus to Washington on Jan. 21?) and a planning/social event in Milford on January 11th at the Patisserie from 6-8 pm

I know that you are just as shocked as I am to see Donald Trump elected by the Electoral College and become President of the US.  We worked hard to elect Hillary and we were (and continue to be) repulsed by a man devoid of values and full of hate and venom toward so people in our country.  I was energized and motivated to see so many of you volunteer to canvass, phone bank (in your homes in some cases), put up signs and help staff the Milford headquarters, day after day and late into the evenings.  I was overwhelmed by your enthusiasm to extend help to other Pennsylvanians and drive to Allentown, Bethlehem and other places that were new to many of us, like Emmaus.

The campaign is now over.  But, as Neil Gross wrote in the New York Times, I find myself suffering from what he describes as “collective trauma,” still in disbelief that the horror of Trump now being in a leadership position in the US. 

However, we need to divert our misbelief and anger into constructive progressive action.  We must be vigilant, organized on the local level and ready to confront policies that violate our commitment to a just and inclusive society with our voices and actions.  As John Oliver says, "If we don't get actively involved to at least mitigate Trump's damage, things will NOT be okay." I hope that you’ll be a part of local actions and activities.

I plan to join in national protests and actions when appropriate, lending my voice to the millions of others who share my convictions.  After all, we are in the majority of US voters!  In addition, it is my belief that our organization in Pike County (and all across the US) needs to be grassroots-based, enabling us to affect (and win) local elections to gain positions of influence in the boros and townships in Pike County.   We are lucky to have the Pike County Democratic Committee (PCDC) to organize efforts throughout the county—like the December “Thank You Party.”  We also should be encouraged by the work of our  active local clubs especially in Delaware and Lehman townships.  We now have  an opportunity to build a cohesive base from which to take county-wide activities.  This will facilitate more frequent gatherings and event planning among us in a smaller geographic area—particularly as we enter the winter weather season.

Toward that end, several of us would like to invite like-minded persons in areas around Milford to join together in a Delaware Valley Democratic Club within the PCDC to plan organizing efforts and actions.  Our thinking is to invite everyone on the PCDC mailing list, but focus on the following areas: Milford and Matamoras Boros, and the townships of Milford, Dingman, Westfall, Shohola, and Blooming Grove. 

Picking up on recent media, some of the actions and activities we’re considering:

  • Chartering a bus to Washington, DC on January 21st to join the Women’s March
  • Exploring local elections (from school board to Borough, Township, County and Congressional District-wide positions) in which some of us might considering running, knowing that they have organized local support
  • Engaging in service projects to build visibility for our group and contribute meaningfully to our community
  • Submitting letters to the editors of local media on a regular basis
  • Contacting elected officials (Casey, Toomey, Marino, etc) to share our opinion on policies
  • Identifying persons in our communities to fill vacant PCDC positions
  • Hosting social events to get to know each other
  • Writing blog posts to the PCDC website
  • Engaging additional people who volunteered during the campaign

We need your ideas!

To start the process, Reggie and I are planning an initial planning/social event on January 11 from 6-8 pm at the Patisserie in Milford.  We will send out an invitation to everyone in the days ahead.

We’ll provide some snacks/pizza and drinks to get the conversations going.  See you on January 11th.


Ed Gragert

Milford Township Chair