Civic Engagement…We’re There!

By Carol Coogan (Op-Ed illustration for the Altamont Enterprise)

Because of the recent groundswell in U.S. civic engagement that many of us have been participating in, and because we highly value the democratic foundations of our Co-op and the broader democratic systems of our society, the Co-op Voice put out a call last month asking readers to send in their photos from recent marches, demonstrations, or meetings with elected officials they have been involved in.

Thanks for taking the time to send us your great photos! We publish them here, along with some from Co-op Voice team members. Hope you enjoy scrolling through.

I joined Albany’s impressive March for Women in January, with almost 7,000 others. One thing I’ve always cherished about this area is that you can get close to politics. Many thanks to Bonnie Goldsmith and Terry Rooney for providing awesome signage for us, and to their elder-friend Bob, for holding the “Stay Woke” one up higher than I ever could!

Donna Aitoro Williams

This picture is of one of the protests my 5 year old son and I attended. My son is outraged that Trump “doesn’t like people who look different”, and he came up with this poster.

Thank you.
Ingrid Espinosa (Troy, NY)

Photo by Drea Leanza
Photo by Drea Leanza
Photo by Drea Leanza
Photo by Drea Leanza
Photo by Drea Leanza
Photo by Drea Leanza
Photo by Drea Leanza
Photo by Drea Leanza

“Rally for Maria” at the Homeland Security-USCIS office in Latham NY on March 1, 2017.

Maria had been targeted for deportation by ICS, which would have required her leaving her two young American-born kids here, alone. She was here for an “interview” to determine if she would be deported. We don’t know if having a crowd of people demanding justice helped Maria, but she sure was happy that she wouldn’t be forced to leave her children.

One issue around the illegal deportations is that it will break up families; if Maria is deported, she will be separated from her American children, breaking up her family. Moms and babies attended the rally, recognizing the deportations as an assault on families.

Many people driving past the rally on Rt. 7 in Latham honked in support. Only one hateful, angry comment was thrown at us from a passing car.

Rev. Shannon Vance-O’Campo, Head of Albany Presbytery, accompanied Maria and was interviewed by the press.

Hi! My name is Beth Meer. I’m a Co-op member and help with the gardens. I marched with a group of 100+ friends, many from Albany, in NYC on January 21 under the moniker “Americans for Truth and Decency.” My daughter Althea Meer sewed our banner, I painted it, and other than the big signs that we got printed, we handmade 80 signs, all around the theme “All I Really Need to Know About Making America Great I Learned in Kindergarten . . . from the U.S. Constitution . . . from George Washington,” such as: “Clean Up Your Own Mess,” “Do Not Discriminate on the Basis of Religion,” “Give Bigotry No Sanction.” We gathered again at the Albany Airport the following Sunday. Unfortunately, I think we will be putting our signs to good use for the next four years.

Newell and I have recently been involved with facilitating Freelancer Events for the Alliance for the Upstate Economy

The photos below are from the Women’s March in Albany, January 21, 2017.

Allie Middleton

This peaceful, thoughtful, inclusive demonstration of hope and opposition to the negativity of the Trump election was a tremendous affirmation and inspiration for me. Women and men, oldsters and youngsters, people in wheelchairs, many different religions, races and countries of origin—we all moved together for hours on NYC streets. The NYPD were helpful and good-natured throughout, guiding us and answering questions (like “How many of us are there?” “About half a million”). The signs were funny, pointed, beautiful and mostly hand-made. I’m so grateful to the organizers and to my fellow participants of the Women’s March on January 21, 2017.

Susan Nowogrodzki

December 19, 2016, a vigil gathered all morning at the Capitol Building in Albany while the members of the Electoral College were voting. It was a really really cold day and our voices rose in the entrance way, with “This Land is Your Land…” and “God Bless America.” Perley Rousseau led the singing, and did a phenomenal version of “What the World Needs Now is Love, Sweet Love…”

I took the “Fight like a Girl” photo at the Women’s March in DC, January 21st. This boy and his mom were sitting near me when we stopped for a break. He was proud of the sign he had made all by himself.

Grannies for Peace stood on Central Avenue, near Wolf Road, on Valentine’s Day.

Paula Weiss (not a granny yet but hoping for a better world for all of our grandchildren.)

I attended the March on Washington with my wife in Washington, D.C. It was an amazing experience. This was the first time I’ve ever gone to a political protest or march. Everyone was extremely nice and I had a great time! I’m really glad that I went to make sure my voice was heard.

Stephen Quickenton

Here are twins Moses and Simone Schou, at the Women’s March in Albany January 21, 2017; Their parents are Nell Brady and Eric Schou, and their grandparents are Claire Nolan and Bert Schou.

Simone and Moses are 3rd generation Honest Weight members!

Thank you for submitting all of your wonderful pictures!