1. Hundreds of people from neighborhoods all over the city who feel alarmed by Donald Trump’s presidential election win met on Capitol Hill on Sunday night at the V2 space, the former Value Village on 11th, just off Pine St. The event, advertised on Facebook simply as a “Post-Election Community Response Forum…created for a Trump-free community,” was not another protest march or rally, though. It was a calm but simultaneously emotional strategizing meeting where hundreds of people took seats around the giant, bright open space—some on chairs, others on the floor. And per the Facebook announcement, there was also “a soft blanket/pillow/ alone space for people who need to go be alone or cry at any moment.”
(An impromptu rally did take shape across the street in the Cal Anderson Park baseball backstop afterward, though, where speakers, like transgender leader Danni Askini, vowing to fight back against any Trump-era crackdown on minority communities, were greeted with enthusiastic chants of “Fuck yes!” from a boisterous crowd, despite the rain.)
The brainstorming session inside V2, in which speakers reported back to the general group after first breaking down into neighborhood groups with butcher paper and magic markers to outline their fears and (round two) list actions they could take in response, was put together by an ad hoc group of local activists and some first-time organizers; the press release came without any group name and simply listed Askini as a media contact.
The long list of fears—or “concerns,” as one neighborhood representative put it, stressing that acting out of “fear” would be giving in to Trumpism—included a chilling view of Trump’s agenda. (And given that Trump named Stephen Bannon, the white nationalist Breitbart media executive, as his senior adviser and strategist yesterday, the dramatic view of a Trump presidency did not seem far-fetched.)
People were scared that women’s choice would be taken away, that they would lose healthcare, that the police would be even more emboldened to be aggressive toward minorities, that hate crimes would surge, that undocumented immigrants faced deportation, that there would be dwindling federal funds for social service programs, and that freedom of the press would be diminished.
People also worried that a climate of fear would scare people out of speaking up in the future—“that people’s lives would shrink”—and instead, they needed “to stay inspired through all four years” to keep the momentum of the evening’s big turnout.
Given the conventional spin on Trump’s victory—that it represents a populist win over the establishment—one item on the list of concerns jumped out as a pretty canny observation last night. Queen Anne renter Daemon Chadeau, reporting back from his neighborhood brainstorm, flagged “working people” as a potential victim of Trumpism, asking “what happens to the protections for the working class?”
A retail worker himself, Chadaeu, 35, sporting long black hair and a black rock t-shirt with heavy metal lettering, warned that unions, workplace safety laws, and protections against sexual harassment could all be jeopardized by the Trump administration. Given Trump's economic policy, including tax breaks for the wealthy, Chadeau is definitely on to something.
After the neighborhood groups presented their nightmare vision of the pending Trump era, one of the main organizers called for “20 seconds to breathe.” Many people in the crowd indulged the yoga moment and closed their eyes.
“Inhale, exhale,” she said, with a collection can at her feet that read, “Fund the Revolution.”
“Ahh, that felt good,” she said as people opened their eyes. “Now, let’s get back into groups and see what ideas we have to defend each other.”
2. Speaking of the contradiction between populism and policy: An analysis of this year’s minimum wage/paid sick leave measure, 1433, shows that while it won in 16 counties across the state (out of 39) scoring a 58.05 to 41.95 win overall, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton only won in 12 counties. Clinton won Washington state 55.09 to 37.74 overall.
There isn’t a ton of crossover between 1433 and Trump counties, though. Trump and 1433 only scored simultaneous wins in five counties.
1433 also outperformed Clinton in 38 out of 39 counties.
The only county where Clinton actually did better than 1433 overall? King County. Clinton scored 72.95 in King County while 1433 scored 70.68. Trump got just 21.64 in King County.
Here’s a map crunched by 1433 advocates at Working Washington that shows the numbers in each county.