In 2021, the progressive grassroots women’s group Red Wine and Blue was suddenly fielding urgent calls from all over the country. Women in Ohio, Michigan, Texas, and North Carolina all had the same question: What is happening at my school board? The stories were remarkably similar: Well-organized groups, often with no connection to the local community, were descending on school board meetings. “People were describing the same messages, the same tactics,” recalls Katie Paris, who founded the group in 2019.
Red Wine and Blue launched a series of Troublemakers Trainings to help instruct suburban moms on how to teach their friends and neighbors to fight back. And even as Republicans broadcast their intent to use the school wars to win back suburban voters, Paris and her colleagues were convinced the strategy would fall flat. “You’re going to claw back suburban moms by scaring them? How dumb do you think we are? That lit the fire,” Paris says.
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