When Vicky Miller found out about the Indivisible guide, an online document detailing how to resist the Trump presidential agenda, she found it to be an ideal way to use the pent up energy she felt in a meaningful and useful way.
The Indivisible Project is a nonprofit that started in 2016 as a reaction to the election of Donald Trump. The project started when former congressional staffers Ezra Levin and Leah Greenberg drafted what would become the initial guide in a google document. The guide, according to Indivisible’s website, has been viewed two million times.
Described as, “a step-by-step guide for individuals, groups, and organizations looking to replicate the Tea Party’s success in getting Congress to listen to a small, vocal, dedicated group of constituents.” The guide includes four chapters: Grassroots Advocacy, Your Member of Congress, Organize Locally, Advocacy Tactics.
Miller became involved with Indivisible Philadelphia just over a year ago, after the 2016 presidential election. “Not surprisingly, many other like minded people were happy to join because they felt the same way,” Miller said. “Not only that, but there are a lot of other progressive groups that are not indivisible groups that are in this area and all around the country.”
Indivisible Philadelphia was a smallish group of about 25 people at first, but according to Miller attendance has grown since then. The group has monthly meetings and has recently joined together with Indivisible PHL, becoming one unifying group.
According to CNN, there are 7,000 affiliated groups associated with the Indivisible movement in all 50 states. Miller and the group spent a bulk of last year reaching out and contacting their legislators as constituents, as the guide instructs.
“We also had meetings and have gone to rallies, writing postcards, letters and have become very active in the resistance to the Trump administration,” Miller said.
This year, Miller added, Indivisible Philadelphia plans on concentrating voter registration and the upcoming midterm elections.
Matt Harker became involved with Indivisible Philadelphia before the merger of the two groups. Like Miller, he was unhappy with the 2016 election results. The following January, Harker found himself sitting at home and listening to Rachel Maddow speak about the Indivisible Guide.
Harker read the guide a few times and next found himself at a local meeting in Passyunk that ended up being more about gerrymandering. He felt like the issue wasn’t big enough which led him to Julie Slavet’s Indivisible group.
“When the loss happened, all I could think about was my best friend, who was a cancer survivor, who only got healthcare through the Affordable Care Act four months before she was diagnosed with stage two lung cancer,” Harker said. “The thought that was going through my mind was that if he’s elected, her healthcare is gone and my best friend dies.”
Harker now runs Indivisible Philadelphia’s Facebook page which currently boasts a little over 1,080 likes. Being a part of Indivisible is Harker’s first dive into anything political, however since becoming a member he has plans to get further involved and run for committee person.
“And that’s the lowest rung on the ladder politically here locally and I don’t have higher aspirations,” Harker said. “If I can get out the vote and drive other people to do the same thing and it takes me from being upset and furious and it allows me to channel that in a productive way, that makes a difference.”
As with any movement, there has been some challenges for Indivisible Philadelphia. Getting people to show interest on a social media post is one thing, but getting them to show up physically and turn their interest into action is another.
There is still a lot of work to do, Harker said, though he feels that Indivisible is staffed to actually do the work. Whether it’s educating or getting people to actually act.
“I think we have a good core now. We had organizational pains, but [the] challenges going forward I think are keeping people engaged,” Miller added. “Although, I really think people are really committed and they really get it, and they’ve thought about what kind of world they want their children to grow up in.”
If you’re interested in joining Indivisible Philadelphia, make sure to follow their work on their Facebook page. The group is always looking for new members.