Bloomfield residents answer the ‘call to action’ respond to

Photo Courtesy of Kimberly Guillermo
An estimated 250 people came to the Town Pub on Thursday, Feb. 9, and wrote over 1,000 postcards to their local congressional legislators. The messages were to the point, urging progressive thinking on civil rights, climate change and immigration.

BLOOMFIELD, NJ — A “call to action” following the Jan. 21 Women’s March on Washington was held on Thursday, Feb. 6, at the Town Pub, in Bloomfield.

The purpose of the event was to prevent the spirit of grassroots activism, shown in the march, from dissipating. The website for the march proposed an itinerary for future actions and those at the Bloomfield location followed it by writing postcards to their elected official. The postcard were available at the Washington march website.

“We wanted some follow-up to the march,” said Djanna Hill-Tall, in a telephone interview earlier this week. “We didn’t want the excitement to dissipate, or the people’s thirst to do something.”

Hill-Tall is the chairwoman of the Bloomfield Civil Rights Commission and an organizer of the call to action.

She estimated at least 250 people came to the 6 to 9 p.m. event. Postcards were available and people wrote short statements, or blurbs, to their elected officials.
“Mine was on climate change and environmental issues,” she said, while others could be about women’s rights and equal pay or anything else.

Tall-Hill said Councilwoman Nina Davis brought 2,000 postcards. A good number were sent to U.S. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-11th District. Postage was paid for by donations. Hill-Tall said she sent five to Frelinghuysen.

“Some of the women came with their families,” she said. “They were using the event to teach their families about activism and being in a productive system. It’s all about using your voice.”

In a statement, Davis said the purpose of the event was twofold: a postcard campaign and to facilitate dialogue and organize around the progressive issues of civil, voting and reproductive rights; climate change, immigration and a strong economy.

She said about 1,100 postcards were mailed from the event and another 800 were given to people who could not attend. The people who did attend were mostly from Bloomfield but also residents from other communities, including Glen Ridge, Montclair, Ridgewood, Clifton and Fairfield.

Hill-Tall said several commissioners from the Bloomfield Civil Rights Commission were at the Town Pub. For so long, she said, the commission was moribund but the present commissioners are trying to change that.

How their work may perpetuate the activism from the March on Washington, she did not know. But she said, whatever it is, she would prefer it benefited the Bloomfield community. On her list-to-do, she said, was to contact the Montclair Civil Rights Commission.