If cities are to lead the resistance against Trump's effort to dismantle everything we city dwellers believe in, then we must start by protecting the most vulnerable. Trump's presidency will bring policies that will harm those who have already been fighting just to survive: people of color, undocumented immigrants, Muslims, people seeking safe abortions, trans and gender nonconforming people.
We must be ready to march. But marching won't do the whole job.
In a press conference in Seattle, in an echo of pronouncements made in cities around the country in recent days, leaders at OneAmerica, El Centro de la Raza, and other local immigrant rights groups called for specific action: letters to the editor, white allies "provid[ing] the leadership to open up a discussion on race," thorough documentation of hate crimes as a way of showing the concrete harm of Trump's policies. (You can donate to those groups here and here.)
Sustaining action like this means not allowing the pressures and seductive amnesias of the everyday to lull us into complacency. Remember that status updates are not the same as real resistance.
Those of us with privilege must put our bodies on the line to stop deportations and to hold our elected leaders accountable for standing up to the Trump administration.
The day after Trump's victory, Seattle mayor Ed Murray promised that Seattle will remain a "sanctuary city" for immigrants and refugees, even if it means risking millions of dollars in federal funding. (Trump has promised to "cancel all federal funding to sanctuary cities" on his first day in office.)
"Seattle remains a city guided by our values of equality, inclusion, openness, and equity," Murray said. "We continue to be a city that supports women. We will continue to be a city that welcomes as our neighbors our Muslim brothers and sisters. And today, black lives matter. Black lives will still matter and continue to matter."
We're proud to see Murray make these promises and we will hold him to them—and ourselves as well. Seattle voters have shown a willingness to tax themselves for the greater good. We have raised taxes to pay for transit projects, affordable housing, parks, and schools. We must be willing to tax ourselves to make up for any federal funds lost when Seattle says no to the Trump administration. Another source of federal funding Murray has been hoping for, money to meet our city's homelessness emergency—an emergency that is familiar to other cities and disproportionately affects people of color—is unlikely to flow from a Trump administration. Murray says he may pursue a city levy instead. We must pass that levy.
"If there's one thing we know about this country—none of these things are new to us," said Pramila Jayapal, a founder of OneAmerica and newly elected congressperson. "We have fought these battles over and over again and we have won—maybe not as big as we would like, maybe not when we would like, but we will win again."Read the full feature The Resistance: How to Defeat Donald Trump's Plot Against America