Post Classifieds

Community Makes Their Voices Heard

By Anastasiia Vorobeva and Lydia McGee
On February 2, 2017

Some of the people who gathered to write postcards.
Photo Courtesy of Anastasiia Vorobeva

On January 27, the members of local communities, along with Concord University students, professors, and staff, gathered together at Moe’s Restaurant to write postcards to legislators as a part of the “10 Actions, 100 Days” Women’s March initiative.

    One of the main goals of  the Women’s March is to keep people involved, and so they came up with a plan – every ten days, participants take an action that lets the administrators know about the people’s concerns. The first action was writing postcards and mailing them.

    “This is democracy in action. It is a kind of nasty and kind of messy sometimes, but it is a way to demonstrate we don’t feel like  [the] government is representing us well,” says Dr. Roy Ramthun, a professor at Concord University. About 35 people came to Moe’s to express their concerns about the current politics. Some of the topics concerned citizens wrote on the postcards were the following: the Affordable Care Act repeal, the appointment of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, the change in immigration laws, and the Muslim registry.

    Wendy Johnson, the community member who organized the event, says “I just asked folks if they would like to come and do it. I really expected five or ten people. I said ‘Would you like to get together at Moe’s and we would do postcards together?’ and before I knew that there were fifteen people saying ‘Sure’ and so I set up a little event page on Facebook, and now we have… thirty-five was my last count.”

    In the room full of ongoing and lively discussions, smiles, and passing around the postcards, attendees seemed to feel a sense of empowerment, and willing to speak up about their worries. “So many of the things we fought for so long have been taken away,” says George McIntorff from Pipestem, “some of the health care, some of the women issues, and now he wants to build a wall between us and Mexico, it is going to be very expensive. The money should be spent somewhere else, there are so many other things we need more.”

    Kristen O’Sullivan, instructor at Concord University, believes that writing postcards to share the concerns is “an actual tangible effort for the things we believe in and what we marched about this last weekend. This is actually getting direct messages to our legislators to let them know what our concerns are.”

    One of the two most pressing messages people wanted to send to legislators were oppositions to the repeal of the Affordable Health Care Act and the appointment of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. Stan Tucker, a member of the local community, believes that Betsy DeVos is “unqualified, she has no experience. It’s a death warrant for education.” Dr. Joan Pendergast, professor at Concord, believes that DeVos “Has very little experience in education, understands private schools, has very little understanding about public school education and the necessity of having public school education.”

    Health care accessibility is a shared concern for a lot of participants. Margaret Persinger, resident of Elgood, West Virginia, is especially concerned about the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, especially in light of her expecting daughter. “Both of my daughters are on health care, and if he takes it away—they have no health care, and one of them is pregnant right now. So I am really concerned about that personally. As educator for thirty-one years as a school teacher I am really concerned about education. There are so many issues, and everyday there are more issues. I am trying to do whatever I can. I made some calls, I’ve signed some petitions, now this… as phone calls don’t seem to be getting through. We didn’t get to the march, but that’s why we are doing this instead.”

    Jean Davis is a woman living with Stage IV breast cancer. She worries that the repeal of the Affordable Care Act will leave young people uninsured, and many without preventive care. “So many new policies are changing…it is time for us to do something about it,” says Karen Griffee, psychology professor at Concord University.

    The next action in the “10 Actions, 100 Days” Women’s March initiative goal has not yet been announced. Those interested or seeking more information can visit to learn more about the movement and to stay informed regarding updates and next steps.

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