AUSTIN (KXAN) — The political movement known as the Tea Party eventually helped propel President Trump and many Republican Congressmen into office, but it started as small groups of local activists trying to make change in their community.
Many Americans might have thought the signs and the cheers finished in 2016.
Now, the left-leaning group “Indivisible” is trying to learn from the Tea Party to put pressure on Washington.
“Over here we have TX 21. That is Lamar Smith’s congressional district,’ Noah Masterson told me as he walks me around to different booths in an East Austin gymnasium. Many of the people there, who were signing up volunteers and working the tables, were complacent until President Trump was elected.
“I showed up to vote when it was convenient to do so. But I was not heavily engaged until the November election and then overnight I became an activist,” said Masterson.
Several hundred people came to Huston-Tillotson University in Austin to organize for Indivisible, a national group founded by former staffers for Congressman Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin.
“We have to care enough about our country to stay involved and stay engaged,” Rep. Doggett told a crowd of several hundred people. Local leaders and State Rep. Celia Israel, D-Austin.
Leaders who attended said if these newcomers don’t stay around, then they won’t have the numbers to stop the Trump administration.
“With Mr. Trump taking us downhill every day with his accusations and his insults, it’s not out of the question there could be change,” Rep. Doggett told KXAN.
While Indivisible hopes to pressure Congress against the President, just Saturday many Texans marched to support him.
“We support him. We are with him — 100 percent by his side. He’s being attacked 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” said Shurri Prescott, who organized the march in downtown Austin.
Just a few months after the election, both sides are already organizing for the next one.