Portlander Natalie Sept said the meeting was, "By no means the answer to the world’s problems, but the way to find our common ground."

Portlander Natalie Sept said the meeting was, “By no means the answer to the world’s problems, but the way to find our common ground.”

April Baer/OPB

Eight hundred and fifty people, many from creative industries, packed Portland’s Revolution Hall on Monday night to talk about where to turn their political energy.

The meeting was organized by an Oregonian, Natalie Sept, who just came off a five-month temporary job working for Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Sept is also a painter. She talked about the emotional devastation she felt at Clinton’s election night loss to President-elect Donald Trump, and her decision to turn her energy immediately into advocacy.

What began as a meet-up among 10 friends ballooned on social media. People came out of the woodwork to register for various progressive causes. Outside Revolution Hall’s concert space, dozens of advocacy groups, from social justice and environmental groups to Planned Parenthood, reached out to new volunteers.

One Planned Parenthood staffer talked to prospective recruits about the best way to make their voices heard at the state Capitol.

“I call my state Legislature, that’s one of the best ways to get your voice heard,” she said. “Emails do so much, but calls are really what staffers love to get.”

Five speakers, including Oregon’s poet laureate Elizabeth Woody, encouraged the crowd to find creative ways to organize for progressive causes.

Speakers Alberto Moreno (Executive Director for the Oregon Latino Health Coalition), Ana del Rocio Valderrama (chief of staff to State Representative Jessica Vega Pedersen), Oregon Poet Laureate Elizabeth Woody, emcee Kevin Carroll, and Natalie Sept.

Speakers Alberto Moreno (Executive Director for the Oregon Latino Health Coalition), Ana del Rocio Valderrama (chief of staff to State Representative Jessica Vega Pedersen), Oregon Poet Laureate Elizabeth Woody, emcee Kevin Carroll, and Natalie Sept.

April Baer/OPB

Ana del Rocio Valderrama, who’s chief of staff for Rep. Jessica Vega Pederson, D-Portland, made a tearful speech about trying to calm her 4-year-old’s fears of a Trump administration.

“Even though I’m more afraid than ever of raising kids of color in a predominantly white environment,” Valderrama said. “What I cling to is the knowledge that in Oregon, we lead.”

Valderrama got a standing ovation when she announced she’s going to run for school board next year in the David Douglas School District.