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How To Mobilize Your Election Fear & Anger Into Action In Chicago

By Stephen Gossett in News on Nov 10, 2016 9:48PM

Photo by Tyler LaRiviere/Chicagoist

By Stephen Gossett, Aaron Cynic and Rachel Cromidas

If you're among the 90 percent of Chicago voters who cast his or her ballot against (*gulp*) President-elect Donald Trump, the rollercoaster emotions you've experienced over the last few days have been countless and deep and raw. But even before the acceptance stage arrived (if it ever really can), a strong countervailing wind of activism, volunteerism, donations and all manner of civic outreach has offered hope. That impulse must continue if we're to prosper through the next four years. Luckily, the infrastructure for a better, more just future right here in Chicago is firm. We've rounded up just a small snapshot of some our city's best organizations.

Racial, Ethnic and Religious Justice

Hispanic Rights and Immigration
Only Trump and his inner circle know for certain which platforms he championed during the campaign simply as cynical political gesture and which he intends to truly actualize. But given the lynchpin prominence of his anti-immigration policy, his voters will more or less obligate he pursue some legislative and executive action here. This could mean the as-promised termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which could thrust thousands of immigrants in the dark, costing them jobs and benefits, expansion of raids and detention centers, and of course, the wall. Many Hispanic communities in Chicago already feel the struggle in affordable housing, workplace rights and more.

Grassroots Illinois Action (Humboldt Park)
Pilsen Alliance (Pilsen)
Mujeres Latinas En Accion (Pilsen)
Brighton Park Neighborhood Council (Brighton Park)
Enlace Chicago (Little Village)
Somos Logan Square (Logan Square)
Centro de Trabajadores Unidos (Southeast Side)

Muslim Rights and Immigration
Generations of historians may pass before we conclusively pinpoint the moment at which Trump’s campaign went from dismissible sideshow to oh-fuck-it’s-real viability, but one of the contenders would be the aftermath of the San Bernardino attack. Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric seemed to find more purchase with some voters in the wake, and that message remains scarily integral to his political character. He’s called for a suspension of Syrian refugees (the vast majority to arrive in America are Sunni Muslims), what amounts to an unconstitutional religious test and even registration for Muslim citizens.

CAIR Chicago
Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago
Muslim Women Resource Center

African-American Support and Police Abuse
Time after time, in debate and in soundbite, Donald Trump seemed to go out of his way to caricature Chicago as a crime-ridden "third world nation." In a city still reeling from the Laquan McDonald (and Paul Oneal and Joshua Beal) fallout, where a disproportionate number of victims of Chicago police violence are black, it was hard not hear his Chicago-centric re-embrace of stop-and-frisk without also hearing the dog whistle. Below you can find information on organizations doing yeoman's work to counteract the kind of police misconduct to which Trump is so blind, and collectives that epitomize Michelle Obama's graceful, unforgettable rebuke to Donald's jaundiced vision of Chicago's prominently black neighborhoods and what really happens in parts of the South Side.

Action Now (Englewood, Auburn Gresham, North Lawndale, Austin)
Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (Kenwood, Oakland, Bronzeville)
The Black Youth Project / BYP100
Assata's Daughters
#LetUsBreathe Collective
Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression
Lucy Parsons Labs

Of course, the fact that Donald Trump so willingly marginalizes historically oppressed groups means the concept of intersectionality will be lost on him as well. Not so with Chicago. Below find some worthwhile social-justice advocacy organizations that resist simpler slotting:
Southside Anti Racist Action
Black Rose/Rosa Negra
Southside Together Organizing for Power - STOP
Lifted Voices
Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Chicago Chapter
Chicago Community Bond Fund

Environment/Climate Change
Forgive the sadly familiar construction but, in an infamous Tweet delivered by Donald Trump, the president-elect wrote that the concept of global warming was cooked up by the Chinese, “in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive.” But the anti-green hostility extends so much further. One of Trump’s earliest actions is rumored to be a withdrawal from the emissions-reduction Paris Agreement and a potential re-exploration of the Keystone pipeline. Perhaps even more than most issues, environmental protection needs large-scale, collective action, but there are local avenues by which to do your part.

National Resources Defense Council - Midwest
Chicago Climate Action Plan
Illinois Green Business Association
Chicagoland Environmental Network

Another of the many minority groups in Chicago feeling the immediate worry of a Trump presidency is the LGBTQI community, which now faces a president with a poor-to-hostile record on marriage equality, trans rights, federal protection against gender-identity and sexual-orientation discrimination, et al.

Chicago Black and Pink
TransLife Center
Center on Halsted
Howard Brown Health Center
Equality Illinois
Chicago House

Reproductive Justice

It's unclear exactly where Trump truly stands on reproductive rights and abortion access, but the same can't be said for VP-elect Pence. With this in mind, Here are some organizations you can support right now, and in the future, to protect the reproductive rights of women and other people in Chicago and beyond:

Midwest Access Coalition

Planned Parenthood Of Illinois

Sexual Assault
And if you were as shaken as we were hearing the president-elect's "grab 'em by the pussy" recorded comments, you might consider helping one of our local non-profits that help people in the wake of rape or sexual abuse:
Rape Victim Advocates
Porchlight Counseling Services
The Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault
Sarah's Inn

Further Recommendations:
Logan Square Neighborhood Association
Mental Health Movement
Chicago Action Medical
Illinois Raise Your Hand
Chicago Light Brigade
Midwest Books to Prisoners
City Bureau
The Night Ministry
Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law

Legal Representation and Tenants' Rights:
National Lawyer’s Guild Chicago
People’s Law Office
Uptown People’s Law Center
ACLU of Illinois
Loevy and Loevy
Autonomous Tenants Union
Metropolitan Tenants Rights

Did we miss an organization you know and love? Please let us know in the comments or email!