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Trump is President. Now What?

Community leaders weigh in on positive ways to resist
EUGENEANS MARCHED FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF OREGON TO KESEY SQUARE NOV. 10 TO PROTEST DONALD TRUMP’S ELECTION. THEY THEN JOINED A VIGIL FOR PEACE AND LOVE. Photo:Todd Cooper.
EUGENEANS MARCHED FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF OREGON TO KESEY SQUARE NOV. 10 TO PROTEST DONALD TRUMP’S ELECTION. THEY THEN JOINED A VIGIL FOR PEACE AND LOVE. Photo:Todd Cooper.

After Jan. 20, Inauguration Day, the title “president” is going to appear before the name Donald Trump. 

Beyond the dystopian strangeness of having a reality TV star in the nations’ highest office, in the wake of Trump’s startling Nov. 8 upset of Hillary Clinton in the presidential election, minorities, immigrants, LGBTQ people, environmentalists and more are fearful of what a Trump presidency could mean and are trying to envision a path forward.

Post-election, Trump has done little to allay fears that he wants to take away women’s rights, deport immigrants and inspire still more hatred after an election campaign that capitalized on anger. He appointed Steve Bannon as his chief White House strategist and senior counselor. According to The New York Times, “Civil rights groups, senior Democrats and some Republican strategists have assailed Mr. Trump, saying that Mr. Bannon, the former head of Breitbart News, will bring anti-Semitic, nationalist and racist views to the West Wing.”

EW asked local community leaders what people can do.

Eric Richardson of NAACP Lane County says, “Folks can engage with intelligence and the idea of movement-building. Coming together across supposed lines using a critical analysis to create the space we desire.” He says that as president of the local NAACP, “we strive to conceive and occupy that space.” 

Richardson says the NAACP is “based on a belief in a natural truth — that all people are created equal and all deserve dignity and a life free of violence.” Want to make change? Richardson urges people to “join the oldest, most cussed, most discussed, social justice organization in the world — the NAACP.” Go to naacplanecounty.org to join the local branch.

Phil Carrasco, president of Grupo Latino de Acción Directa of Lane County, is spearheading a Eugene-Springfield “sanctuary city” movement. Sanctuary cities, like Chicago and Los Angeles, protect undocumented immigrants by not prosecuting them for violating federal immigration laws. For example, an immigrant who is arrested for driving without a license pays the fines or serves the time is let go and not held for deportation.

Carrasco is calling for cities to not assist or cooperate with any raids or detentions or deportations of any immigrants or registration and surveillance programs of Muslims, to create a safe zone for immigrants, Muslims, LGBTQ people, women and anyone fearing persecution and finally to reject efforts to criminalize or attack Black Lives Matter or Chicanx movements. 

Carrasco and other supporters of sanctuary cities  brought the idea before Eugene’s Human Rights Commission. For more info, find Make Eugene/Springfield Sanctuary Cities on Facebook. 

Eugene Mayor-elect Lucy Vinis says, “This is a time to reach out” and express our support for the rights of everyone in our community through our daily actions. She says, “We can each be a model for our vision of a safe and welcoming community.” 

Vinis says, “At the next level, we must conduct our lives as a community that fosters opportunities for housing, education and employment for everyone who calls our city home.” She suggests educating ourselves, volunteering and donating, pointing out that Eugene has many “organizations and individuals who work for social justice, and this a time to support their work.”

EW “Living Out” columnist Sally Sheklow echoes Vinis’ words. She says, “It seems like a good time to review our donating and volunteer options and pitch in to organizations that are doing the work that we want to see continued and strengthened — Basic Rights Oregon, the ACLU, Southern Poverty Law Center, Network for Reproductive Options, CALC (Community Alliance of Lane County), NOW (National Organization for Women), off the top of my head.” 

EW is collecting suggestions for local organizations that are pro-immigrant, pro-environment, pro-women and anti-hate and bigotry for our upcoming Give Guide. Send suggestions to editor@eugeneweekly.com.