What is Rust Belt Rising?

Rust Belt Rising is envisioned as a coalition of progressive activists working to unify and promote the Rust Belt as a voting bloc. We hope to achieve this through:

  • Coordinating amongst the various Rust Belt communities to speak and vote with a unified voice.
  • Engaging within our communities to demonstrate the value of progressive values and platforms as they relate to the Rust Belt in Particular.
  • Focused community outreach and canvassing in neighboring “red” districts to promote progressive policies beyond the metropoles.

This organization is still in its infancy and at this stage could use all the support it is given. If you are interested in involving your own community in this effort, please use the contact page to reach out.

The Resistance Manual (resistancemanual.org)

A project by StayWoke The Resistance Manual is a wiki cataloging the various groups, projects, and actions taking place and laying out the ways in which you can get involved in a specific fight.

The site is organized by cause (eg: Obamacare/ACA, Policing, etc…) and contains not only things that you can do to get involved, but also info on the right’s positions and ways to counter those messages.

Indivisible Guide (indivisibleguide.com)

Indivisible formed shortly after the 2016 election with the goal of providing guidance and support to the various groups resisting the Trump agenda. They have published a written guide and provide numerous other organizational resources. 

ACA Focus Town Hall: 2/22/2017 @ 6PM

ACA Focus Town Hall: Hosted by Citizens Against Collins

A Community Health Townhall to discuss healthcare, the proposed repeal of the ACA, and the impacts on NY 27. Featuring special (invited) guest Chris Collins!

6:00 – 8:00 PM
American Legion Post 410
42 Niagara St.
Lockport NY

The Resistance Calendar

The Resistance Calendar was launched and promoted by Michael Moore as a comprehensive listing of all resistance related events/rallies/demonstrations.

A Demonstration to Demand Answers: 2/20/2017 @ 3:00 PM

Please lend support to our comrades in NY’s 27th Congressional District as they demand accountability from Rep. Chris Collins.

Hosted by Citizens Against Collins

The event begins at 3PM and will meet at 2813 Wehrle Dr, Buffalo, NY 14221-7380

More details can be found on the Facebook event page:

 

 

Organizing Principles

Friends,

I’m certain the past week has been trying for all of you, I know it certainly has been for me. Despite this I hope that my letter finds you in better spirits and renewed vigor, because right now there is much work to do.

The coming Trump presidency represents an existential threat to our Republic. It is obvious that it will challenge aspects of our civil society that were long considered sacrosanct. The protection of democratic institutions and the continuation of a progressive agenda will require a robust and sustained grassroots response of us all. The conversation as to how we achieve this is already beginning and I would like to contribute to it. It is my hope that these points can help frame a larger conversation between all of us as we move to organize our local response in preparation for the next four years.
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Beginning as we mean to go on

It’s been a week since the election and while I’m certainly not pleased with the way events turned, I’m at least ready to intelligibly speak to my thoughts and plans.

First, I am prepared to hit the ground running in terms of grassroots advocacy and political action. I realize that if I had a failing in all this it was not taking a more active role in the process from the outset. In that spirit I would like to offer an open invitation to anybody interested in working together around promoting progressive policies and supporting progressive candidates. I certainly have ideas for the form this advocacy can take, but I think the discussion is one very much worth having.

Second, there are a number of groups already advocating for progressive politics and policy, but I feel the strength of Buffalo and cities like it lay in the unique dynamics of the Rust Belt. We live in the middle of a region that is fluid in its politics and, clearly, quite capable of flexing its muscle when provoked. Our neighbors are what swayed this election to the other side and, while it is not the choice I would have made, I recognize that we have more in common than not. Being neighbors we can appreciate the context that these folks exist in. We may not agree on all things but we can certainly relate and find some common ground. Further there is strength in numbers and we ignore that fact at our peril. I believe that Progressives offer a compelling message, but it is on us to sell it. The work to engage with and convince our neighbors to join us in this conversation needs to begin immediately.

Third, any response that we advocate cannot simply be another 4 to 8 years of obstruction and gridlock. Any solution that is worthwhile needs to foster understanding, compromise, and compassion in so far as those ideals are possible. We need to own our own fault in this and not fall prey to blaming the other side. Reforming the Democratic party and pushing progressive policy is a far better antidote than resenting and distancing ourselves from those that voted for Trump.

I understand these are broad statements to make, but I think putting the thought out there and inviting a conversation is an important first step. So let’s talk. Ideally I would like to take this conversation offline, so if any of this is speaking to you please send me a message. Remember, action breeds motivation. If you’re feeling down about things that’s understandable, but the sooner we undertake the hard work the sooner we’ll all feel a lot better. So, let’s begin as we mean to go on, shall we?

(This was originally published as a public Facebook post)

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