At East End Action Network (EEAN), we have participated in multiple actions this year specifically tied to voting. In October, we hosted a voter registration drive at our local community college and since the summer, we have stood outside on six occasions, forming a “light brigade,” in support of voting and the Freedom to Vote Act. This effort was championed by a relatively new member, Corinne Bernath, who organized the action. It inspired us and caught the eye of activists around the country. When I posted a photo of our light brigade before the November election on Facebook, it reached 135,000 people. To learn more about Corinne and how the light brigade was created, I met with her on Zoom. Below is a lightly edited and condensed transcript of our conversation.
You have been such an inspiration to all of us, Corinne, spearheading the light brigade and being our liaison to Indivisible New York. We are all fighting fatigue and discouragement and you have given us a shot in the arm.
I’m glad to be doing something. I know everyone is tired and often feeling discouraged of late. I am, too. The November elections discouraged me. But at the same time, I am motivated because I can’t go back to the Trump years, I just really can’t do it. I said to my sons five or six years ago, the oldest was just graduating high school, and I said, ”I have this feeling in my gut. I’m worried that you’re not going to have your own families under the same government I have.” And especially having one in the military. What if a Trump comes back to power? Am I going to be against my own child? It scares me to even think along those lines. But we must think about this because if we lose the presidency in 2024 to the Republicans, our democracy is in trouble. It doesn’t even matter if it is Trump, because at this point, they are all Trump. That’s why we need to keep at it.
What brought you to EEAN?
I’ve never been politically involved. I come from a Republican family that’s always been politically involved and I think that’s kind of why I steered away from it, because I have an opposite point of view. I’m friendly with EEAN member, Lisa Marrin, and I had been writing postcards for years, but … [more]