THE WATCH NEWSPAPER
By JESSICA KUTZ, Staff Reporter
In the wake of the presidential election, grassroots organizations across the country have formed. They’ve been requesting meetings with U.S. senators and representatives, flooding phone lines and mailboxes and demanding that constituents be heard from across party lines.
The Ridgway-based group D3 Indivisible arose from this flurry of activity as a way to coordinate the energy of citizens looking for change on federal, state and local levels. The group is affiliated with the national organization Indivisible Group, which touts close to 6,000 chapters, according to its website.
D3 stands for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, which encompasses most of the Western Slope and the cities of Durango, Pueblo and Grand Junction.
Erika Gordon, spokeswoman for the D3 Indivisible organization, said that because of
the diverse political makeup of
the region, the group aims to be inclusive and seeks to facilitate a conversation around certain issues including health care, immigration, education and the environment.
“We want to be inclusive and we want people to have conversations about policy and about what affects us in this part of the state,” she said. “We believe there are a lot of places where we can have conversation around issues that are nonpartisan.”
With that being said, the group does take a progressive stance on many issues and has a team called the “policy-trackers” that follows changes in policy and legislation on topics pertaining to civil rights, education and science, among others.
From 6:30-8 p.m. on Thursday, April 20, the D3 group will be hosting what it advertises as a “Town Hall with Sen. Cory Gardner.” However, neither Gardner nor his staff has confirmed that he will attend.
Gordon said the group has been “flooding his office with phone calls” in an effort to confirm his appearance, but no response has been supplied.
“We highly doubt he will attend,” Gordon said. “We’ve also done this with the knowledge that he said he would not do in person town halls.”
The event could be considered more of a symbolic meeting to mark Gardner’s absence. Gordon said the point is to highlight that he should be meeting with all of his constituents.
On the off chance that he does show up, the group has created an award to thank him for his attendance.
Either way, the group will be meeting and presenting findings from the various policy-tracker teams. The event will take place at the Ouray County 4-H Center in Ridgway.
D3 Indivisible also will host an Earth Day Celebration on Saturday, April 22, from 4:30-9 p.m. at the Colona Stockyards south of Montrose.
Gordon said the event is not intended to be political, just a celebration of planet earth.
“Bring the whole family and dance the afternoon and evening away in celebration of springtime, the planet and being together with good friends,” a news release states.
Local bands Niceness, Devil and the Details, and R2-D3 will be playing. Eatery 66 will provide sustenance; local micro-brewed beer will be on tap.
There is a suggested donation of $20 for adults and $10 for children under 18.
In Telluride, another community organization, ACT Sustainability, will be organizing its own Earth Day celebrations.
Madeline Gonzalez, one of the organizers, said the formation of the group has been an organic evolution.
“It really has been emerging through many of us that we care about our planet, we care about our communities and we want to do something of value,” she said.
On Thursday, the group will host an action day in collaboration with Lexi Tuddenham, the executive director of the Sheep Mountain Alliance — a local nonprofit environmental advocacy group.
The action day will take place from noon to 6 p.m. at Wilkinson Public Library’s program room. People can drop in to sign petitions, send postcards and call their representatives about environment-related concerns.
“We are coming up with a list of action items … and we are really trying to make those sessions at the library be very practical,” Gonzalez said. “If someone only has half an hour to do that kind of thing they can come in and take action.”
On Saturday, a Science, Climate and Earth Day March is scheduled from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. The march starts in Elks Park.