A message from our founder...
My name is Seta Ghazarian and I founded the predecessor organization to High Desert Progressive Democrats, High Desert Resistance (HDR), in November of 2016 shortly following the results of the presidential election. I'm the daughter of immigrants, a first-generation American whose parents fled their native countries and came to America as refugees escaping persecution at the hands of repressive regimes. As a teacher, my political advocacy prior to the 2016 election focused mainly on educational issues. However, when a certain Republican candidate emerged as the frontrunner in the 2016 election, I recognized all too clearly that he had the potential to govern in a manner similar to the autocrats who had victimized my parents and countless others.
I started HDR as a Facebook group with three other women. We planned to attend the first Women's March together, but HDR quickly grew to be a space where progressives could gather, grieve, and heal together. In the early days, that healing included social events where we could simply spend time with like-minded people. As progressives, we often felt isolated in the High Desert, and HDR provided a space where we could speak freely. We also engaged in the 10 Actions in 100 Days that emerged from the first Women's March in 2017. When the 100 days had passed, we realized our work had just begun, and we continued to engage in other ways. During those first three years, we registered hundreds of voters, planned a number of direct actions to confront issues of injustice, and volunteered to help progressives get elected to local office. We've had our share of failures, but we've also had our share of successes, and our movement is growing. That's why we decided to charter as an official Democratic Club in December of 2019. We realized that we would not be able to be part of the big, structural change our local communities need as an informal organization. Since our chartering corresponded so closely to the shutdowns due to COVID-19, we met new challenges in continuing our work. Luckily, we have an active membership that does not shy away from learning how to use new technologies to continue our activism and voter engagement.
Our primary goals in 2016 were to make sure Democrats took the House in 2018, and the Senate and Presidency in 2020, and we, along with thousands of activists across the country, have achieved all three of those goals. However, our work isn't over. Ultimately, our local politics affect our daily lives far more than national politics do. That's why we intend to keep working, keep organizing, and keep focusing on ensuring that we achieve parity in our local politics.
We hope you'll join us!