2017 has been a great year for the under-qualified: a reality TV host became president, a scrum of doltish sycophants were funneled into his cabinet, and (as a direct consequence) I find myself doing AV to support my local Member of Congress. Make no mistake, I’m proud of the work I’m doing. (And you should take a look!) The audio could be clearer, the video could be sharper, but hey, take that up with Apple; my iPad and I are spreading the word. The Resistance is on!
Most recently my humble hardware and I streamed Barbara Lee’s introduction to Resistance Summer, a program launching in the Bay Area and cities nationwide to counter the Trump agenda. Setting up my tablet on a tall, wobbly table, I stood among reporters whose cameras almost certainly cost more than my car (hell, whose clothing almost certainly cost more than my car). I was out of my league, but I wasn’t alone. Other volunteers and Indivisible members were setting up chairs, greeting attendees, and engaging social media. Seeing The Regular Folks™ connected to power like this, I recalled that protest chant I’ve heard so frequently lately: this is what Democracy looks like.
Barbara Lee took the stage and I hit record — several times, actually, until I finally got it working.
Front-and-center for Resistance Summer is the effort to push back on the AHCA, the Republicans’ latest attempt at Obamacare repeal. Through each iteration its only constants seem to be (1) tax cuts for the super wealthy and (2) tens of millions of Americans would lose coverage. Oh, and (3) it would bring back exclusions for people with pre-existing conditions. Sounds terrible, right? I think so, and Americans overwhelmingly agree. The AHCA is awful policy, but it’s a great opportunity for the opposition to connect with the voters. If we want a more progressive America, healthcare is our launching point.
And how did I spread the healthcare message? Before the event, I taped up signs. (Finally, a task I’m qualified for!)
The event itself was brief, but to-the-point. And as always, Congresswoman Barbara Lee was on fire! The Bay Area is pushing back against the Trump agenda, but how can we get the rest of California on board? What seats can we flip in our own backyard? (Looking at you, Darrell Issa.) What about the rest of America? (Looking at you, Georgia’s 6th.) Lee’s leading the charge at home to stop Trumpism nationwide, and that’s what Resistance Summer is all about: building up the electorate, equipping activists, and winning victories for the Resistance!
Several guest speakers later, Barbara Lee ended the event with another rousing call to action. The applause eventually died down, and I closed the Facebook stream and packed up. While the real reporters went to the congresswoman with their questions, I hit the snack table where Indivisible’s own indefatigable volunteers introduced me to even more like-minded activists. We shared, we laughed, we commiserated. We imagined a world where presidents don’t grab, congressmen don’t bodyslam, and son-in-laws don’t collude. And we talked about what’s next for the Resistance.
After I got home I checked the stream I had posted and that others had shared officially. I may not have the news crews’ fancy lenses, mics, and lighting, but did any of their footage open with a half-second shot of my chin as I fumbled with the iPad camera settings? No? I didn’t think so. That’s what we in the news business call an exclusive.