In September, MWEG members across the nation began focusing attention on the impeachment process. Our response to this historic event was driven by a desire to help transform citizens as much as leaders.
As the Ukraine scandal began to unfold, our members began crowd-sourcing neutral and comprehensive information about actors, processes, norms, and political relationships. As the House moved toward impeachment, we discussed together what the process would look like as well as historical precedent. Members communicated together on our Facebook discussion group, and leadership reached out with our newsletter, Facebook live events, and presentations on our internal platform. Our objective is always to learn together, gain knowledge and skills, and allow each woman the opportunity to formulate her own positions. We then encourage each other to articulate those opinions clearly and independently.
As impeachment developed, our leadership decided collaboratively to advocate forcefully for a full and fair impeachment trial. Once women felt informed, they were increasingly willing to join us in this. Initially, MWEG focused our attention on states with Republican senators who showed interest in conducting an evidentiary-based trial. (Senators were selected based on past comments, impending retirement, or being in a tough race for re-election in a swing state). That list included Senators Alexander, Collins, Murkowski, Sasse, Portman, McSally, Romney, and Gardner.
During our first op-ed campaign (launched in November), we specifically reached out to MWEG members in those key states and worked to encourage them to write and submit op-eds and letters to the editor. We continued our nationwide call throughout December and early January but started to focus in as specific senators gave signs of voting for witnesses in the Senate trial. Members in Tennessee, Alaska, Colorado, Maine, and Utah were particularly active and committed during that period as they wrote and called their senators regularly. After Romney and Collins voted for witnesses on January 31, 2020, we narrowed in our focus even more closely on Senator Romney, as evidenced by the timeline below.
Here is a timeline (with details and selected links) of MWEG’s advocacy surrounding impeachment:
Throughout the impeachment process, it became clear that the nation needs more educated voices advocating for ethical government and for the protection of the institutions that defend the right to vote. Our members are able and willing to be those educated voices. Their clear and moral calls for action have also drawn new voices into the process of civic engagement.
Mormon Women for Ethical Government is a rapidly growing organization uniquely positioned to address the challenges our nation currently faces. We are so proud of our members and their sisterhood. In our community we work together to provide our members with a peaceful and reasoned space where we can gain the knowledge and skills necessary for forceful advocacy. Because we are strictly nonpartisan, we analyze policies, actions and processes against our standards for ethical government, rather than according to traditional ideological patterns. This pattern has proved to be very effective at motivating citizens both within our organization and without.
During the impeachment proceedings and in the weeks following, our membership has significantly increased, as has our following. Many of the individuals responding to our calls to action and replying to our efforts are not, in fact members of our faith. We believe they will enrich us, and we are excited to join with women who share a faith-driven focus on ethics and our dedication amplify the individual voices of peaceful women. The last few months have given us a vision of what is possible as women work together to become a force for civic good.