5 Ways NWLC Resisted the Trump Administration in 2017
It’s hard to believe almost one whole year of the Trump administration has passed. We knew this year would be hard, painful, and – at times – terrifying to witness. But what we didn’t know was that we’d rise up as one, defend one another, and build community in new and innovative ways. This has been a year of sorrow and miracles. But we got through it, and we couldn’t have done it without our shared resistance. So here’s a starting list of five ways we fought the Trump Administration together.
We mobilized to #ProtectOurCare.
One of Trump’s first priorities was repealing his predecessor’s pivotal law, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), that has ensured (and continues to ensure) access to affordable health care for millions of people. Despite massive public opposition, Senate Republican leadership rushed multiple repeal attempts through, using shady tactics to bypass regular process. And for us here at NWLC, this fight was personal. We had family and friends who had been denied care before the ACA. Some of us were cancer survivors. So with our lives on the line, we held telethons. We jammed Congressional phone lines. We rallied. And when what seemed like the millionth repeal attempt failed thanks to our resistance, we celebrated. And while we know attacks on our health care will continue, whether through bills or executive orders, this fight to protect our care very clearly showed the Trump administration that we, the resistance were not to be messed with.
We told ‘em, BOYS, BYE.
Trump’s first 100 days were marked by nonstop threats to our rights – especially as he hand-picked the most dangerous people to fill his cabinet. Tom Price was chosen to lead the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) – an anti-ACA, anti-LGBTQ politician who believes there is not “one woman” who can’t afford birth control without coverage. Andrew Puzder, a fast food CEO against basic workplace protections who had built his business by objectifying women, was naturally Trump’s pick as the Labor Secretary. Although the Trump administration resorted to shady tactics to rapidly push through dangerous and unqualified candidates like these and others – the resistance made their voice heard and we were loud enough to force Puzder to withdraw his nomination. And although Tom Price eventually was confirmed, in just a short seven months after Puzder’s withdrawal, Price resigned as secretary of HHS amid well-deserved criticism from – you guessed it, us the resistance – for using taxpayer money to fly private jets.
You get a lawsuit! And YOU get a lawsuit!
When they came for our birth control and equal pay, we said:
When they tried to hide public records on Title IX and sexual harassment complaints, we said:
We not only slapped the Trump administration with lawsuits, we also filed lawsuits in the states on behalf of survivors of harassment and assault who were pushed out of school, women who were denied birth control coverage, and pregnant workers. With your support, we expanded this work by launching the Legal Network for Gender Equity, a new national attorney network dedicated to protecting the rights of women and girls in school, the workplace, and health care. We spent the year using the full force of the law to protect women, and we’re just getting started.
We took to the streets.
In the face of bigotry, harassment, and intimidation, it can be hard to summon the energy to strategize and fight back — but boy did we. Over the last 12 months, we marched for civil rights, organized rallies to protect hard-earned progress, and mobilized our friends, families, and co-workers to defend our values. From the Women’s March to the March for Black Women to dozens of rallies to save health care, we showed up and made it clear that we will not go back. And we weren’t alone. Millions of people flooded the streets to protest Muslim bans and attacks on Dreamers. We showed up for immigrants, workers, LGBTQ communities, undocumented folks, and working families. We engaged in direct actions, like sit-ins and walkouts (some of us for the very first time). We held our lawmakers responsible for their actions. We made it clear that any attempt to deny us of our humanity will be met with resistance.
We said #MeToo.
Last year, America elected a self-proclaimed sexual predator as president. This year, we saw the rise of #MeToo, a movement founded by anti-violence advocate Tarana Burke and aimed at exposing and addressing sexual harassment and violence in our society. We watched artists, students, low-wage workers, domestic workers, incarcerated women, and LGBTQ folks of all ages and backgrounds come together and speak to the physical, social, and economic harms of harassment and violence. Thanks to #MeToo, the country started holding sexual abusers accountable for their actions. We finally started to frame sexual harassment and sexual assault as a civil rights issue, not just a criminal one. We shined a light on the domino effect of being pushed out of work or school and the outcomes of being denied our right to safety and equal treatement. While there remains work to be done, we were lucky enough to speak to Tarana Burke a few weeks ago, and it’s clear the #MeToo movement has only just begun.
And with you, our supporters, followers, and fellow friends of the resistance – we’ll keep fighting in 2018.