The Women’s Resistance Grassroots Movement in Virginia

Posted in News Story

The new resistance groups that “popped up” after the 2016 presidential election have made an impact in a series of important elections in Virginia, helped fight for key legislation including Medicaid Expansion and the ERA, and provided a collaborative space for individuals to become politically engaged, often for the first time.

This report documents the impact of the Resistance Grassroots Movement and seeks to determine what it will it take to strengthen and sustain the movement so it can 1) maintain its energy and activism, 2) have a seat at strategy tables alongside more established activist groups, 3) develop the capacity to build advocacy campaigns, and 4) better connect resistance groups across the state.

Information was collected through a survey of grassroots groups working in Virginia and interviews with leaders of advocacy organizations, the Virginia and national Democratic Party, and campaign managers.

A strategy of partial integration with the progressive movement is recommended as the most effective future path. The energy of resistance groups has limited impact in isolation; yet, when combined with the efforts of other organizations, they can have an exponential impact.

The report should help inform the work of new resistance grassroots groups, funders interested in investing in the movement, and trainers who want to build the capacity of these new activists.