It’s taken a few days for us to process just what happened last Tuesday.
We finally had a day of reckoning! After two years of rallies on the curb, letters, postcards, door-knocking, sign-making, playing “Where’s Walden?,” marching through the streets and making thousands of daily calls to our Members of Congress, the results are in.
And we won. We won!
That doesn’t mean that every candidate we endorsed got more votes than the people they were running against. Four amazing women — Lanita Witt, Amy Thuren, Megan Salter and Michelle Blum Atkinson — took on tough races when they stepped up to run for state and county seats long held by Republicans. They organized progressive voters in key areas and won our admiration.
Jamie McLeod Skinner won our hearts as she tirelessly crisscrossed Oregon District 2, towing her teardrop trailer. She put Walden’s comfortable victories in the rearview mirror. She knocked him down from 70 to 58 percent and took away his claim that he has a mandate (aka his justification for why he doesn’t have to listen to anyone who disagrees with him).
These women are champions. They motivated, organized and activated progressive voters. We watched them grow as community leaders and they will inspire a whole new group of women in our local politics. We can’t wait to see where they choose to serve next!
Three of our endorsed candidates did win their elections. The wonderful Pam Marsh will return to the state legislature. Our longtime friend Jeff Golden will take the state senate seat once held by Alan Bates, creating the supermajority Democrats need to get laws passed. And Kate Brown won a tough battle to remain our persistent and progressive governor.
These are big wins for Oregon; there is an even bigger win we achieved nationally.
We won the House.
We — the Resistance — flipped it by more than 30 seats! In January the Democrats will become the majority. They will begin investigations into Donald Trump’s finances, campaign violations, presidential appointments and Russian connections. They will stop Congress from being a rubber stamp on his policies. And this means that while Greg Walden might have won this election, he will lose his power and influence as chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee. He will no longer control our health care, net neutrality, environmental regulations, and water and forest management. He may not hide from us anymore. He may just fade away.
That is a really big win!
But there is still one more win even bigger than that — and that is the wonderful, crazy, lovable tribe of accidental activists we call ORD2 Indivisible. Over the past two years, we have gone from being complete strangers to becoming really good friends. We have made politics and protests fun. We have learned a lot about how to create change.
You are all awesome, and we are proud to be fighting alongside you every day.
In the next couple of months, your ORD2 Steering Committee will take a closer look at what worked and what didn’t, our goals as we look toward the 2020 election and how we can best achieve them. We will need your opinions and your ideas, your time and your passion, and we will give you every opportunity to share that. It may look like we are lying low for the next few weeks, but we will be working hard to listen to you and come up with a plan. We are especially excited about the new Indivisible Guide 2.0, due out soon. We think it will answer the call you’ve been making for a while — that it should be less about what we are against and more about what we are for.
We hope we can do this at a relaxed pace, and maybe take a little time off for the holidays.
But that is probably wishful thinking. Last Thursday’s national flash rally to protect the Mueller Investigation was a reminder that this political storm continues to be out of control.
We had a call back to the streets just 48 hours after an exhausting election, on a day when we thought we all might finally get back to our regular lives. Yet, 500 of us showed up in Medford and Ashland, happy to be there, with new, hand-painted signs and a message that said: We care, we are standing up for what’s right, and we’re not going anywhere.