Concerned citizens of Seattle met for a second time since the election to form Neighborhood Action Councils to protect targeted groups under a Trump administration. They called the event: “Concrete Actions: A Neighborhood Organizing Kick Off, and Action Fair.”
At 3 p.m. on December 4, approximately 500 people filled the gym and adjacent rooms in the International District Community Center as 25 local grassroots organizations were confirmed to join for the second half of the event to recruit volunteers and speak to the work of front line communities.
Organizer Grace Steig, a life-long Seattle resident and member of the new Columbia/Hillman City Neighborhood Action Council, said: “I am so excited to connect with my neighbors to create a hate-free-zone in Rainier Valley and amplify the political power of south-end communities.”
Ximena Velazquez, a Latina immigrant and a lead organizer of the Neighborhood Action Coalition, said: “We are organizing the coalition like a giant phone tree across the city, so that when targeted communities like mine, make a call to action, we are able to get the word out to activate people across Seattle.”
This is the second event for the coalition that came together ad-hoc, the night of Trump’s election. At the first event, the Community Response Forum on November 13, over 750 people showed up, spilling into a local bar and park, to discuss fears about the election. This event is about moving those fears into action. Each Neighborhood Action Council that meets at the International District Community center will vote on three Projects that they are committing to taking on to support targeted communities.
The Coalition team stresses that it is not sponsored by existing political organizations, rather it is made up of a growing crowd of individuals from diverse occupations and identities. Their stated goal is to provide space for neighbors to self-organize to uphold the shared freedoms guaranteed in America’s democracy and denounce a political structure that has normalized xenophobia, racism, sexism, homophobia, and greed.
Organizers are emphatic that a Trump presidency is a threat to human rights and will require a strong and unified opposition response based in neighborhood organizing.