It’s a group that says it’s angry and activated. Dozens of demonstrators gathered outside of Congressman Dave Reichert’s office in Issaquah Thursday, and similar demonstrators were scheduled around the state this week, aimed at asking Republican members of Congress to address their concerns.
“It’s clear that I wasn’t doing enough, really a wakeup call for me,” said Martin Caspe, a Democrat disappointed with the outcome of the election this fall.
“They have two years to show us that they do have, as people used to say, moral fiber, that they can stand up and do the right thing,” said Robin Macnofsky, also a constituent of Washington’s 8th district. “If they can’t show us within two years, they will be swept away in a tsunami of very, very upset, indignant, frustrated Democrats.”
Macnofsky says she, along with a growing movement of Democrats have their sights set on the 2018 congressional midterms. She even started a “resistance” sub-chapter in her Lake Tapps neighborhood, based off the “Indivisible Guidebook.”
The online document "Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda" was written by self-identified former progressive congressional staffers who saw the rise and success of the Tea Party eight years ago.
Related: Who founded Indivisible via CNN
Back then, the conservative movement took shape shortly after President Barack Obama was elected, targeting Democratic members of Congress who were in the majority.
In 2010, the New York Times reported that the majority of Democratic lawmakers were choosing to avoid town halls, for fear of confrontation.
“These aides basically applied the same techniques—be vocal, get in front of your congressman, make a lot of noise, and let them know what your positions are,” Macnofsky said of the Indivisible guide.
She told her own group started five weeks ago with just a couple of neighbors, but it has since grown to more than 150 members.
“I didn’t ask for that. I’m not paid, I’m not trained, I’m not a professional,” she said as the crowd chanted behind her. "The guide is a do-it-yourself guide to civil disobedience. Voila, this is what you get, and this is our democratic foundation."
Macnofsky says her immediate goal is influencing lawmakers, so she's regularly scheduling meetings with Reichert’s district staff.
“I’ve seen him take some moral stands on immigration and protecting immigrants’ rights,” she said of Reichert. “We have this man, like it or not for two years. Why not ask him to do the right thing?”
However, Macnofsky predicts a “ground swell” of energized Democrats to turn out nationwide in 2018, as thousands of ‘Indivisible’ chapters have popped up cross country.
“My worry is the next elections are 21 months away, and that’s a long time to maintain this type of energy,” said Martin Caspe, who wonders whether the intensity will last.
King County Republican Party Chairman Lori Sotelo, who stopped by Thursday’s demonstration, downplayed concerns about what 2018 could mean for Republicans in Congress.
“This is a national effort to discredit our President and discredit the work that the Congress has to do,” said Sotelo.
She says while she understands the demonstrators’ concerns; they don’t understand those of the voters who support the President.
“They’re the silent people who haven’t been heard for a long time. They are the ones that will continue to support what’s happening nationally. It’s a populist revolution,” Sotelo said.
Regardless of party, one point both sides can agree upon is continued partisan divide.
“We are a divided country right now,” said Macnofsky. “I don’t know how we’re going to come together.”