The Boise high schoolers behind the Idaho People for Unity campaign, Nora Harren and Colette Raptosh, kept the group’s progressive activist agenda going Thursday by delivering hundreds of postcards to Sen. Mike Crapo’s office from people voicing concerns on gender equality, racial and economic justice, the environment, immigration and refugee resettlement.
The hand delivery was the local group’s effort in the 10 Actions, 100 Days campaign promoted by the organizers of the Jan. 21 National Women’s March in Washington. Harren and Raptosh led the organizing for the local Boise march, which drew an estimated 5,000 attendees to the Capitol and Boise City Hall.
They’ve got another event in the works next week. In connection with still-evolving plans for a national “general strike” of women, People for Unity is planning a walkout next Thursday for area high school and college students to voice disapproval over Betsy DeVos’ appointment as education secretary, and to show support for women’s civil rights. They plan a 10 a.m. gathering on the Capitol steps.
“We feel that this is going to be detrimental to Idaho education, especially because we’re such a rural community,” Harren said of DeVos’ appointment. “We want to show them that students aren’t OK with this.”
The postcards were written and addressed at a Jan. 31 gathering that drew more than 100 people. On Thursday, Harren and Raptosh, accompanied by two members of the group’s steering committee — Jesse Thomas, a lawyer, and Shayla DeVisser, a social worker — dropped off the cards with Crapo’s receptionist and left promptly. Confrontation, Harren said, “is never our point.”
“We figure if we delivered postcards to him, he can’t just ignore our messages or phone calls,” Harren said.
Raptosh said the postcard writers “feel empowered and they feel like their voices were heard, and that sparked something in them.”
The school walkout, she said, was for “those that want to stress and practice their First Amendment (rights), and if they want to make their voices heard, it’s their right to do so.”