FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — Inspired by their opposition to President Donald Trump, experienced political activists and newbies from across Connecticut's 4th Congressional District have formed a coalition to oppose his conservative agenda.
Indivisible CT District 4, or ICT4, first organized at a meeting in Weston that drew hundreds of people from the 17-town Congressional district, said Samantha Nestor, a communications co-chair for the group.
One person who turned out was Autumn Mathisen-Edoff, a Weston business owner who bought her family's medical insurance through the Affordable Care Act marketplace.
“I’m fighting for my life. But more importantly, I am fighting for quality affordable healthcare for all Americans,” she told Daily Voice as she told of her health concerns.
On Jan. 20, the day of Trump’s inauguration, Mathisen-Edoff was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. She has already had one surgery and faces many more this year.
"A month from now, I will look and feel like a very different person,” Mathisen-Edoff said. "I am living a nightmare. Under the new administration, I may lose my insurance."
And she fears it could get worse for her insurance coverage. “I now have a serious pre-existing condition that will never go away. If the ACA is gutted, millions of Americans, including myself, will lose their insurance coverage. Those with serious illnesses may be denied access to affordable, quality health care,” Mathisen-Edoff said.
Last week, Mathisen-Edoff traveled to a town hall-style meeting in Norwalk to tell her story to U.S. Rep. Jim Himes (D-4th District) and implore him to protect her healthcare.
Himes promised to defend the Affordable Care Act at the meeting.
"I voted for and have defended the Affordable Care Act for eight years now," Himes said. "All along, I've said it did do some really good things, but it’s not perfect."
Mathisen-Edoff said the meeting with Himes "gave our team at Indivisible CT-4 hope that we will make it through this marathon together.
"It was a standing-room-only crowd," she said. "People were waiting at the doors, and every single question was answered over three-and-a-half hours in front of a group of 1100-plus constituents. It doesn't get much better than that."
Erach Screwvala, another organizer, promised the group will continue to speak up.
"We will show up in force,” said Screwvala. “The policies of the president and congressional Republicans are completely unacceptable. We will ask questions that we deserve to have answered.”
ICT4 is part of a nationwide movement formed to resist the Trump agenda, with groups formed in other Congressional Districts.
"We are a group of like-minded people living in Connecticut's 4th District, horrified at the economically harmful, socially regressive, ethically deficient and shameful actions of the Trump administration," the group says on its website.
Connecticut's 4th Congressional District includes Bridgeport, Darien, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Monroe, New Canaan, Norwalk, Oxford, Redding, Ridgefield, part of Shelton, Stamford, Trumbull, Weston, Westport, and Wilton.