by Jonathan Krall
Organizer, Grassroots Alexandria
 

Karen Hayes displays a sign while reaching out to the Alexandria Democratic Committee Jan. 9, 2017. (Photo: Jonathan Krall)

In response to the impending Trump administration, Virginians are organizing. One group, Grassroots Alexandria, is non-partisan and is helping individuals work more effectively on their issues of choice. Grassroots Alexandria organizer Sarah Stott says “We are a new group, but we are already hard at work. On Jan. 14, we will be making signs for the upcoming Women’s March On Washington.”
 
Another new group, OurRevolution Alexandria, is focused on partisan politics. Organizer Boyd Walker tells me that “OurRevolution Alexandria will also be participating in the Women’s March.” With all this organizing going on, will Alexandrians rise to the occasion?
 
The Women’s March on Washington is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 21, 10 a.m., at 3rd and Independence Ave SW. The Virginia Chapter of the Women’s March greeted the new year with a Jan. 1 meeting. Stair Calhoun, the head of the NOVA regional effort, wants to get as many marchers as possible, both from Virginia and elsewhere. The Virginia organization has ordered hundreds of warm purple beanies with their logo on them, available for a nominal price. If successful, Virginians at the march will be a tide of purple.  For more information on Virginia’s contribution to the March click here. Men are encouraged to march as well.
 
Alexandrians Karen Hayes and Sarah Stott are encouraging Alexandrians to sign up and to march together. Hayes and Stott plan to make signs for and with volunteers, along with a banner, “Alexandrians for Women’s Rights”. Stott emphasizes that women's rights are non-partisan. “My hope is that our group marching from Alexandria will be diverse by political party, gender, race, ethnicity, age, sexual identity, and economic status. We are putting the Trump administration and Congress on notice that we will be watching them and making sure that our rights are protected.”  To march go to http://GrassrootsAlexandria@gmail.com 
 
Both Stott and Walker tell me that the organizing will continue after the march. The aim of Grassroots Alexandria is to get more Alexandrians involved in issue-oriented political work over the long term. As stated on their Facebook group, “A healthy democracy thrives on the healthy political activity of individuals.” 
 
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