In the wake of Donald J. Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election, Takoma Park residents have been organizing to prepare themselves and the city for anticipated challenges they believe the new administration will pose for marginalized groups.
“As a person of color, as a person who doesn’t have health benefits at my job, who relies on subsidized health insurance- this is the first time where I’ve seen my own personal livelihood being threatened,” said Takoma Park resident Anita Budhraja. “There have always been certain groups that have been targeted and marginalized but this half the country now.”
Activist Jennifer Wofford held an event at Piney Branch Elementary School in Takoma Park on Dec. 4 where hundreds of people gathered to form working groups for specific issues such as Civil Liberties & Civil Rights, Environment, Health Care and Immigration.
The movement, known as Takoma Park Mobilization, consists of 13 committees with rotating facilitators and one or two point people in each who are tasked with coordinating emails and meetings.
The committees are, at present
- The Economic Equity Committee
- The Immigration, Sanctuary, Muslim Working Group
- The Health Care Committee
- The Committee for the Women’s March
- The Breaking Bread Together: Community Dinners group
- The Stand Up!Show Up! Rapid Response to Hate Crimes or Racism group
- The Electoral/Constitutional Committee
- The Education & Training Committee
- The Subcommittee on Diversity, Inclusion, Bias and Anti-Racism Training
- The Environmental Committee
- The Civil Rights & Civil Liberties Committee
- The LGBTQ Committee
- The Communications/Outreach/Organizing/Logistics Committee (COOL).
“I was very excited to see [The Economic Equity Committee] start because that’s really important here, locally in Takoma Park,” said Wofford. “At the county level we want to push for a higher minimum wage.”
Residents aren’t the only ones getting involved, according to Wofford.
“County representatives were there, state representatives were there- they saw the energy, heard the people, and we’re going work with them.”
Activist Nadine Block said that Takoma Mobilization was created “to energize people and create a space where people can form working groups and take on real projects.”
The next meeting of Takoma Park Mobilization will be Saturday, Jan. 28 at 4pm at Piney Branch Elementary School, with Gustavo Torres of CASA de Maryland.