Foothills Rising began on November 12, 2016 with fourteen community members coming together in solidarity. It quickly became apparent that we weren’t there to hang out heads after the unexpected election results, which left many of us feeling not just disappointed, but also disconnected.
As residents of Amador County, which is often claimed as the reddest county in California, we found ourselves among like minds and realizing that, while individually we may have strong skill sets and some even with local and national political experiences, it would be more meaningful and long-lasting to organize our efforts. We watched the private Facebook group we created two days before our meeting grow exponentially through word-of-mouth, as community members added their friends, family and colleagues. We started meeting regularly but informally, hosted as private residences and having round table discussions with forty people. People that for the most part had never been politically active before, but felt spurred into action by the rhetoric of a President-Elect who did not represent our rural values.
We believe strongly in the process of democracy and facilitate our meetings in a manner similar to Strategic Planning. Our focus is building a coalition of empowered community members who will bring lasting change to a rural, conservative region. Our unity is our strength; unity in who we are and what we want. As individuals and organizations, long time torch-carrying activists, women, seniors, youth, small business owners, veterans, people of faith, enviros, artists, organized labor, transportation and recreation foot soldiers, and treasured LGBTQ+ and immigrant brothers and sisters – we find common cause in a more just and human future.
We believe in civic engagement, thoughtful collaboration, solidarity and inclusion. We build power by developing the capacity to organize so that we become a room full of 100 empowered organizers, rather than a room of 100 passive people taking direction. We make our future manifest through community-building, participation in local government, presence in state government, and pressure on federal government.