Portland progressives, stunned by the presidential election results, gathered at Revolution Hall Monday night to plot a path forward in the face of the nation’s conservative shift.
Overwhelming the venue’s 850-seat capacity, the overflow crowd cheered as Oregon’s Poet Laureate Liz Woody, along with activists and nonprofit leaders urged them to funnel feelings of despair and disappointment into organized action. “Don’t talk about it, be about it,” counseled author/entrepreneur Kevin Carroll, known for his “Red Rubber Ball” motivational series.
Walls were lined with questions calling for sticky-note replies.
Dozens of nonprofits and social justice organizations lined hallway tables, offering literature and volunteer opportunities, many represented groups or causes considered vulnerable in a Trump administration:
Oregon Environmental Council, PHAME, P:ear, Milagro Theater, Oregon Humanities, Opal Environmental Justice, Planned Parenthood OR, Center for Women’s Leadership, Oregon League of Conservation Voters, ACLU, Adelante Mujeres, Black Parent Initiative, Moms Demand Action, Street Roots, Street Books, Bradley Angle House, Habitat for Humanity Oregon, Impact NW, New Avenues for Youth, Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon, Sisters of the Road, Welcome Home Coalition
Others, such as the Bus Project, targeted youth, inviting them to become politically active. Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility offered high school juniors and seniors academic scholarship opportunities for creative writing about solutions to gun violence.
Organizer Natalie Sept, a member of Hillary Clinton’s campaign press team, said the event began as a conversation between a few friends and quickly exploded on social media.
Portland band Lost Lander, and other artists, performed.