May 30, 2017

New Progressive Group Emerges in Oconee County

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Andrea Wellnitz met hundreds of sympathetic people in Oconee County when she shared concerns about President Trump's election emboldening discrimination against her adopted children from China.

An empathetic response by the North Oconee Rotary Club to a member’s statement of concern about possible discrimination against her Chinese-born, adopted daughters after the November election has had an unexpected outcome.

A group calling itself Oconee Progressives and claiming nearly 300 members has emerged.

The group is political but not necessarily partisan, according to four women who have been instrumental in its formation.

The goal is community building, the women say, and they’ve organized luncheon meetings and picnics for their families so people can get together and share their concerns.

Also planned is a workshop to help children learn how to deal with bullying and another workshop to teach participants how to write more effectively letters to advocate for their causes.

The story of the formation of Oconee Progressives is a complex and surprising one that begins with Andrea Wellnitz, 47, an artist and social worker who works with veterans who are at risk for being homeless.

Wellnitz lives in the far west of the county near Statham.

Wellnitz first shared her concerns about the implications of the elections on her two daughters, adopted from China, with the Rotary.

Then she shared the positive response of the Rotary with her friends on Facebook.

That second sharing led to the emergence of Oconee Progressives.

Continue reading at Oconee County Observations.