Valley natives lead the March for Truth
By Graig Graziosi
A protest march Saturday supporting the continued investigation into President Donald Trump’s purported ties to Russia will take place in more than 130 cities with a trio of Valley natives heading the effort.
Megan Mamula, Jordan Uhl and Jimmy Dahman are Canfield natives and the organizing forces behind this weekend’s March for Truth.
According to the event’s website, the March for Truth is a multi-city group of “demonstrations to call for urgent investigations into Russian interference in the U.S. election and ties to Donald Trump, his administration and his associates.”
Uhl, 29, is a political science graduate from Youngstown State University. During college he worked for U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Howland, D-13th, and, after graduation, moved to Washington to begin his life in the capital.
He is a vocal Trump critic, challenging the president’s actions on Twitter. Uhl said that while he opposed Trump from the beginning of his campaign, he became particularly infuriated with the president after the inauguration, which is when Uhl says he believes the president began betraying his supporters.
“He’s just really turning against his own supporters. His proposals are directly damaging and detrimental to the poorest, most vulnerable Americans, and at my core I just can’t agree with a government official using the government to make Americans’ lives worse,” Uhl said.
During a conversation with Justin Hendricks and independent reporter Andrea Chalupa, Hendricks questioned why there wasn’t a march to demand a fair and transparent investigation into the Trump-Russia allegations. Agreeing that the issue warranted attention, the group decided to launch a march of its own.
Uhl and his counterparts initially planned for marches in New York, Los Angeles and Washington D.C. — largely liberal, high population cities where they could find seasoned march organizers — but didn’t anticipate the march would grow much beyond those cities.
Then the president fired FBI director James Comey.
“When Comey was fired, interest took off,” Uhl said. “We grew to more than 40 cities over the following few days, and all of a sudden partner organizations were coming out of the woodwork to offer their help and support.”
Established activist organizations, such as MoveOn, Indivisible, and the Women’s March reached out to offer support for the march.
One organization partnering with the march is Town Hall Project, whose executive director is Jimmy Dahman, another Canfield graduate and friend of Uhl’s. Dahman attended college at Kent State University, also graduating in 2013 with a degree in political science. After graduation, he spent time as an organizer in 10 states and later worked as an organizer for Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2016. After the election, he founded the Town Hall Project, a nonpartisan group that helps connect constituents with opportunities to access their representatives by tracking congressional events.
“Many of our users have been questioning their representatives about the Russia investigation,” Dahman said. “People clearly want more answers and more information, so it made sense for us to partner with the March for Truth.”
Joining the duo is Megan Mamula, another Canfield graduate who lives in Washington D.C. She volunteers with the D.C. Local Ambassadors, a group of workers that helps activist groups with event logistics, such as securing safety marshals and getting quotes on porta-potties.
Uhl said he’s overwhelmed by the support for the march, which he says has even come from conservatives critical of the president.
“It’s really become a bipartisan issue,” Uhl said. “Millions of Americans are passionate about this issue, and it’s not overblown; the integrity of our democracy is at stake.”