Goodbye 2017, and Good Riddance

Raise your hand if you're sad to see 2017 go? 

Yeah, me neither. It's a good thing I didn't ask who was happyto see 2017 go, as there would be a whole lot of people getting weird looks on the el as they randomly shot their hands into the air. 2017 was the worst.

The. Worst.

But now 2018 is here. 2018, the year of the midterm elections where we, as a nation, will finally begin to regain some semblance of control over this country once again. Yes, it's exciting to have something positive to work towards as opposed to simply scratching and clawing to hang onto the last vestiges of the country we love.

But before we put a nail in 2017's coffin, let's take a quick look back and remember that 2017, for all the pain it caused, did have it's positive moments. 

  • The Indivisible Movement is born. With over 7000 groups across the country, we've never seen a grassroots uprising the likes of Indivisible. Indivisible Chicago itself has grown to over 6000 members and evet has it's own podcast, it's own app, and the ability to take donations. That's a big change in one year from 35 people meeting in a bar with a paper copy of the Indivisible guide and a desire to do something.
  • The Women's March was the biggest protest in history and fanned the embers of our uprising against Trump into the flames of The Resistance. We're doing it all again in just a few weeks.
  • Just over one month old, Indivisible Chicago partnered with Indivisible Illinois to lead a Statewide Day of Action, with a rally in each of the 18 Congressional districts across the state. Consider our presence announced.
  • Indivisible Chicago jumped into the deep end in June, holding the March for Truth, one of hundreds of rallies across the country calling for a a real investigation into Trump's ties with Russia. Over 2500 people marched from Federal Plaza to Trump Tower. We were thrilled to have an amazing lineup of speakers including Jan Schakowsky, Mike Quigley, Robin Kelly, Jill Wine-Banks, and many others. This event was a huge step up for our organization and established us as one of the leaders in the Chicago Restistance.
  • Later that month, the fight for healthcare began in earnest. Indivisible Chicago worked with the Protect our Care Illinois coalition to push back against the Repeal of ACA, holding a series of rallies at Federal plaza and the Thompson center. Thanks to a Getty Images photographer, our Indivisible Chicago signs made the rounds in the national news.
  • Members of Indivisible Chicago joined leaders in Indivisible Illinois and other activists groups to hold Handmaid's Tale protests, demanding that Governor Rauner sign HB 40 into law. These powerful protests drew national attention and, in a tremendous victory for women's rights, HB 40 was signed into law by Governor Rauner.
  • Ultimately, ACA Repeal came down to a vote in the Senate, and Indivisible Chicago lead a nationwide effort to phone bank from Blue States to Red States, rallying constituents in key Republican states to call their Senators. This approach was picked up by the national Indivisible leadership and has become one of the main tools in fighting bills in the Senate. Ultimately, we all remember Senator McCain's famous thumb's down and ACA repeal was finally dead.

Indivisible Chicago continued to fight through the rest of the year. Unfortunately, the Trump Tax Scam passed, but that was offset by a tremendous win in Alabama. Indivisible Chicago sent over 2000 postcards to Democratic voters and the national GOTV effort helped bring about a massive upset in Alabama.

The Resistance is the reason why the Republican party, which controls all three branches of government, has only been able to pass one major piece of legislation. It's the reason by Trump has approval ratings in the mid 30's and the bill they managed to pass is even less popular than that. We've pushed our Representatives with our calls and rallies and turned them into fierce allies against the Trump administration. We forget, but the first instinct back in January when Trump was inaugurated was for the Democrats to compromise and work with the president. They quickly realized that we aren't okay with compromise if that means working with a budding autocrat.

2018 will bring new challenges to the table. In January alone, we will renew the fight for DACA and march in the one year anniversary of the Women's March. The Robert Mueller investigation will continue and we will be ready if Trump tries to sabotage that investigation. Ultimately, though, 2018 will be about the elections in November and Indivisible Chicago has plans to be a major player in taking back both the House and the Senate. But until the time comes when we have regained political power, we will continue to resist.

Jason Rieger