Turn Local: Ignore Donald Trump

By: Emily Simons

I know, he’s impossible to ignore. Every tweet and speech turns the media into spiral of coverage while we’re approaching nuclear war. Donald Trump has the attention span of a child and Paul Ryan couldn’t find a backbone to save his life. Who thought 2017 would be so fun? As we swim through the cycle of bullshit we have to remember the causes we can impact on a local level and where politics is in 2017. The country is going through a messy transition with our political parties. Neither side has a clear message for the future, but each has members in Congress. While Democrats figure out the direction of the party and Republicans genuinely don’t need party loyalty, now is the time to really push our representatives toward advocating for our issues.
Whether it is fighting Healthcare repeal, getting citizenship for DACA families, protecting Planned Parenthood, or reforming tax legislation we have to focus on our representatives and local leaders in government. We have to accept the President is not going to listen to us unless we’re wearing a MAGA hat or a white sheet. And don’t expect Ivanka to change him any time soon. It’s on us. We have to remember that Trump does not vote in Congress, but our Representatives do. Thankfully there are many outlets for our frustrations in and around campus. Pittsburgh has both a Republican and Democratic Committee along with local offices for P.A. Senators Bob Casey (D) and Pat Toomey (R). Senator Toomey will be best reached after his vacation, started effectively after his re-election in 2016. Non-PA residents can find their representatives by searching with their mailing address.  If you’re registered to vote in Pittsburgh you can find your councilperson as well.
While the results of the election may be disheartening, don’t underestimate the power of your vote in direct elections. However, when elections aren’t happening you can save yourself from media fatigue by focusing on letter writing campaigns and calling your representatives. The Chatham Feminist Coalition has post cards you can send to your representatives in response to DACA repeal and you can attend advocacy training hosted by the Pennsylvania Center for Women in Politics. The public is also encouraged to attend Pittsburgh council meetings on Tuesday mornings and town halls to understand what’s happening at a local level to challenge the executive branch. Pittsburgh has reaffirmed its support of immigration, environmental protections, and healthcare. Without local politicians fighting for our beliefs there would be no protections against the President.  
Lastly, when in doubt use social media to target our representatives. Get Trump off your twitter feed and add Bob Casey and our City Councilperson Dan Gilman. We can’t access Donald Trump—only Fox News can—but we can talk to those we voted for. In the next year we will be shaping politics in more ways than we can imagine and it will all begin with us on the local level.