Days after and estimated 5 million women and men marched all over the world in the name of several causes and belief systems challenged by the new administration, several wondered, "What next?" The main organizers of the Women's March on Washington (WMW) kept going and designed more ways for people to stay involved to be heard, this time, taking it to the snail-mail. And who are experts in snail-mail? Local printers.
True to a well-branded campaign, the WMW designed postcards for anyone to print out and use in order to pen opinions and action items. Grey Printing, based in Cold Spring, fired up their printers and pre-printed stacks of postcards that can be individually purchased for $1.25 or 10 postcards for $10, which is basically the cost of printing the cards, says Kristy Carpenter, head of communications for Grey Printing. Hot off the presses and two days after the postcards came out, the postcards sold out. So Grey Printing printed more.
Two large orders of 500 came in from people in Beacon, and several regular Cold Spring customers have been walking to buy 10 at a time. For those who don't live in Cold Spring for a quick pickup, the postcards can shipped to your home for your own postcard-writing campaign, or postcard party involvement. Grey is even pre-printing addresses on cards ordered in bulk, so all one needs to do is write their message and put a stamp on it. One customer, Kristy says, ordered some to send to Paul Ryan's home in Wisconsin.
What Is Anyone Writing About?
To help avoid writer's block, the organizers turned it into a Challenge, giving authors of postcards an assignment:
- Write a postcard to your senators about what matters to you most.
- How you are going to back that up with actions on your end (even if that action is just writing the postcard, but one could get creative).
Not limited to women's-only issues, the WMW guides people to write in about issues that are important to them, such as immigration, civil liberties, worker's rights, environmental issues, etc. Included in the call-to-action to write in postcards is a list to find your senators by zip code, making names and addresses easy.
Can Trumpians Write In?
Yeah, sure. So maybe you voted for Trump, and participating in The Women's March on Washington, or getting even a little moved by it, feels disloyal to your vote and issues that mattered to you in the ballot box. Just like with any administration, there may be issues you agree with that come out of these fast-moving executive orders that are being signed at the speed of a tweet, but there are some that may not.
For instance, maybe you are uncomfortable with Trump ordering the EPA's social media account to go dark (read more about the White House ordered EPA media blackout in this Fox News article) and not get out information. Maybe you don't like the EPA and disagree with a lot of their policies and want to see some regulations lifted. But silencing a department is something you'd read about China doing when they block areas of the Internet from their citizens in order to control information.
Maybe you wanted immigration reform, but you're not comfortable with people being stranded in airports who are no longer allowed into this country courtesy of a quick-draw executive order barring them. Maybe, like Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) who represents a community of Syrian people in Allentown, PA, six of those stranded people are your neighbors who had secured visas and had just bought a house, but were turned back from their flight from Qatar within hours of landing in Philadelphia. As quoted in this CNN article: "This is ridiculous,” said Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.). “I guess I understand what his intention is, but unfortunately the order appears to have been rushed through without full consideration. You know, there are many, many nuances of immigration policy that can be life or death for many innocent, vulnerable people around the world.”
That's why the model of democracy works both ways. You can support one thing, but not like another. To keep it balanced, the public servants need to hear from the people in order to push for directions a majority of the people are favoring.
You could print these postcards online and figure that out with your own home printer, or you can support a local printer and buy them, doing two deeds at once: supporting local neighbors in business, and participating in democracy. Win win!