Forsyth County and the surrounding region have long been known as Republican strongholds, but local Democrats are taking a stand.
Anita Tucker, who ran last year as the Democratic challenger for the District 5 Board of Education seat, has been working with other party members in Forsyth, north Georgia and metro Atlanta to protest elected officials and other matters, most notably at the office of U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson.
“Every Tuesday, I organize a group that goes to Sen. Isakson’s office,” Tucker said. “We basically want to be there every Tuesday at 1 o’clock for the first 100 days [of the term] to let the Senator’s people know we are not going away.”
She said Isakson’s office is the only protest planned week-to-week, though others, including U.S. Sen. David Perdue, are likely in the future.
Others have included demonstrating against a building bearing Ku Klux Klan imagery in Dahlonega and the women’s march in Atlanta.
This week, Tucker was among about 100 protesters who gathered in front of District 9 U.S. Rep. Doug Collins’ Gainesville office to speak out again changes to the Affordable Care Act. Three of the protesters were able to speak with Collins in his office.
She said the group Indivisible Hall was the driver for that protest and that she helped as she could.
“All I did was help them figure out what to do, get the permits and rally people to come out,” Tucker said. “I’m just trying to be a facilitator. I’m just trying to help as many people to be active to figure out how to do what they want to do and express their concerns.”
Along with Indivisible Hall, Tucker has also worked with Indivisible Lumpkin, both part of the larger Indivisible Movement, which has about 4,500 local groups. Those in the movement follow the Invisible Guide, which the group calls “a practical guide” for resisting the agenda of President Donald Trump.
“It’s a movement, but we’re not connected; there’s no master group organizing any of it,” she said. “It’s very much a lot of reactionary things; it’s like every day something insane happens and everybody feels that they need to speak out about it.”
Tucker said it’s not all protests —she and others are constantly signing petitions, making phone calls and writing emails.
She said local Democrats have also been coming out of the woodwork.
“I think there’s more than people realized — it’s just that they weren’t necessarily active and engaged and now they’re becoming active and engaged,” Tucker said. “I can tell you they are very energized by us being here and reaching out and having events.
“I am hoping the county Democratic Party will be able to start making a bigger impact on the community in a positive way.”
Still, Tucker said rather than worry about numbers she would prefer to work with Republicans to solve problems.
“I think the bigger picture is instead of it being adversarial and us versus them, I would much rather start working with the Republican Party in the county on things we can agree on,” Tuckers said. “When we worked on [opposing] Amendment 1 [Opportunity School District] last year, I worked with some of the Republican ladies in particular.
“It can be done; we just have to find common ground.”