A collection of progressive Democratic groups plan to continue their demonstrations outside the Springfield offices of U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan, R-7 of Chadds Ford, in a consistent, sustained way by showing up at least three times a month on Sproul Road.
Indivisible Main Line South, Indivisible Delco, Individuals for Action, Bowling Green Patriots, Indivisible Upper Darby, Upper Darby Area People Power, H-CAN, the PA District 7 – Citizens for Equality Action Network and TURN PA Blue are among those who plan to demonstrate outside Meehan’s district office at least three times a month – and they invite any member of the public to join them.
The groups plan to picket along Sproul Road from 5 to 6 p.m. on the first Mondays, from 1 to 2 p.m. on the third Sundays, and from noon to 1 p.m. on the third Thursdays of the month.
“From our point of view, as long as Meehan’s in office, it’s important for his constituents to communicate to him what is important to them,” Mike Balay of Indivisible Main Line South said. The representative has announced he will not seek re-election following a controversy that he used taxpayer money to pay a former staffer with a sexual harassment claim as he was a member of the House Ethics Committee.
Balay himself has met with Meehan a few times.
Of the congressman, he said, “He has strongly held beliefs.” And, he said the representative spends time to think and evaluate issues.
Balay said that through a consistent presence, it might persuade Meehan.
“It seems to be now more than ever, he may be willing to take a stand of conviction now that his election is not at stake,” he said.
In addition, the Newtown Square resident said the civic engagement needs to continue, even as a lot of energy is directed towards upcoming campaigns.
“The activist community is going to start shifting its focus to elections,” Balay said. “We need to sustain the resistance movement for its own right as a way of keeping the momentum going until elections.”
Volunteers do what they can, he said.
“It’s important that you get more than two or three people out there,” he said and that’s why he reached out to peer leaders in groups in the Springfield area.
Setting a regular schedule serves a few purposes, Balay explained.
It allows people to plan ahead, they’ll know there will be more people present and it’s pulling from more than one or two groups, he said.
“It’s still important to mobilize or give people who are outraged by various things that the Trump administration and the conservative Republicans in Congress are doing (an avenue),” Balay said. “Resistance and protest is still an important motivator.”