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A congresswoman's public forum on how to survive a Trump presidency

A congresswoman's public forum on how to survive a Trump presidency

Democratic Congresswoman Katherine Clark, who has represented Massachusetts’s 5th Congressional District since 2013, has never been someone to shy away from difficult issues. Just last month, the U.S. House passed Clark’s legislation, The Bringing Postpartum Depression of the Shadows Act, to provide states federal grants to develop and maintain programs for better screening and treatment of postpartum depression.

In acknowledging post-election fears, anxieties and vulnerabilities many of her constituents will confront in Trump presidency Clark convened a public conversation on December 3 at Cambridge College entitled, “Moving Forward: Promoting Safety & Tolerance in Our Communities.” The goal was to give practical tools for creating safe spaces and resources for combatting hate and intolerance, and community based action steps moving forward.

"I ran for office to help our communities and to go to Washington and work for families," Clark stated. "That role is going to be more important now than it has ever been. As I've seen the appointments and the structure of the Trump administration take place, my concerns are mounting, not dissipating. We have to be vigilant. We have to be armed with facts, and we have to be making sure that we work together to create and protect our inclusive communities.”

With a recent uptick in hate crimes, a call for a Muslim registry, anticipating threats to abortion access and copay-free contraception, fears of being targeted because you’re transgender or fears of imminent deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants, and Clark’s office fielding calls every day from hundreds of her constituents since the election Congresswoman Clark pulled together a panel for an open discussion, which I hope many more elected officials will conduct across the country.

The panel comprised of Dr. John Robbins, Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Eva Millona, Executive Director of Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA), and Christian Miron, Deputy Director of NARAL Pro-Choice, myself, and Eva Martin Blythe, Executive Director of the YWCA Cambridge as moderator. 

Fielding questions and concerns expressed from the audience highlighted how women and people on the margins have the most to lose in a country pivoting away from their full protections and participation in a multicultural democracy.

Therefore, Clark convening a public forum is no surprise to her constituents because Clark’s always in tune to the woes, concerns and pulse of her constituents, and she’s in touch with policy decisions that might disenfranchise voters rights at the state level.

“Our democracy is