President-elect Donald Trump has made no secret of the fact that he relies heavily on his daughter Ivanka‘s opinions and ideas. For example, Trump introduced his proposed paid maternity leave policy to Americans this summer after his 34-year-old daughter urged him to do so, saying, “Daddy, daddy — we have to do this.”
So it’s no surprise that Americans concerned about the proposed policies of Trump — from rolling back environmental regulations to deporting millions of undocumented citizens to punishing women for accessing abortion care — have decided to appeal directly to the woman who seems to have the most influence over the United States’ incoming 45th president. And many are doing so by using the hashtag #DearIvanka.
On Monday, Nov. 28, some of these people with concerns about the future of America will be gathering for a vigil in New York City that’s being held under the #DearIvanka banner.
The vigil is organized by the Halt Action Group, which described itself to Yahoo Style as a “coalition of regular people, artists, writers, curators, cultural figures, [and] activists that have come together in New York.” The political gathering has been promoted by, among others, Half Gallery director Bill Powers, who is married to New York-based fashion designer Cynthia Rowley.
— half gallery (@halfgallery) November 26, 2016
Rowley herself shared her thoughts about the president-elect on Instagram on the day after the election:
Halt Action Group drafted its own #DearIvanka letter today in advance of the vigil and shared it with Yahoo Style. It reads:
We are a group of concerned citizens who live in all five boroughs of New York City. As we’re all neighbors, we thought the most direct way to reach out would be to come to your building with our hopes and urgent concerns.
Because you are an official member of your father’s transition team, we wanted to appeal to your rationality, and your commitment to protecting the rights of all Americans, especially women and children. As your father has said on countless occasions, you are the one who really has his ear. Here are some of the types of notes we’ve been collecting from members of the community:
Dear Ivanka, I’m Jewish and afraid of the swastikas spray painted on my park.
Dear Ivanka, I’m black and I’m afraid of Jeff Sessions.
Dear Ivanka, My mom is going to be deported.
Dear Ivanka, I’m Muslim American and I was attacked on the subway.
Dear Ivanka, I’m gay and I want to be able to marry when your dad’s president.
Dear Ivanka, I’ve been raped and I need to have an abortion.
Dear Ivanka, I work three minimum wage jobs and can’t afford healthcare.
Dear Ivanka, My children come home from school worrying about World War III.
Dear Ivanka, New York will be underwater if we ignore climate change.
All of these “Dear Ivanka” notes form a giant open letter, which we will continue to add to, voicing our shared anxieties and hopes; we are writing to you — and your husband — [to] ask for your help and attention.
The group is asking to “HALT Steve Bannon,” HALT Jeff Sessions,” HALT talk of a Muslim registry,” “HALT the rise in hate crimes,” “HALT the assault on women’s reproductive rights,” “HALT the abolition of the Affordable Health Care Act,” “HALT Trump’s conflicting business interests,” and “HALT attacks on freedom of the press.” On its website, members also write:
Racism, anti-Semitism, misogyny, and homophobia are not acceptable anywhere—least of all in the White House.
Steve Bannon has no place in the White House. Jeff Sessions has no place in the White House. Talk of a Muslim registry has no place in the White House.
Hate has no place in the White House.
We refuse to “wait and see”. We look to you as the voice of reason.
Halt Action Group
Meanwhile on Instagram, the group is running a #DearIvanka account and flooding it with messages appealing to the woman herself and sharing stories from others about their personal concerns as they look ahead at life under her father’s administration.
On social media, individuals are using the hashtag, first employed by filmmaker and activist Michael Moore, to raise their concerns about the incoming administration:
#dearivanka Women everywhere are counting on you to guide your father to protect their rights, & to abandon forever his anti-women rhetoric.
— CallyBanham/Cortango (@CorCally) November 10, 2016
We are now counting on you as a woman, mom and his most trusted advisor to guide your father well. Thank you. #dearivanka
— Melissa (@1740testore) November 10, 2016
— Kate Ziegler (@kkaatlyn) November 14, 2016
— James Labeck (@Jslabeck) November 14, 2016
Others have taken to writing open letters to the eldest Trump daughter, going into greater detail about why they are appealing directly to her — someone who has built an entire brand around being a “woman who works.”
Writer Genevieve Field wrote an open letter to Ivanka too, which she published on Medium. Field’s letter focuses heavily on the need for Ivanka to make it clear to her father what’s at stake for the environment given the kinds of policies he’s suggested and the ideas about climate change espoused by the people he has appointed to his cabinet. Field begs the woman she once interviewed for a magazine story, “I know you already have enough to do: running The Trump Organization, the Ivanka Trump line, your household, and now your dad’s public image. But what if I told you that what I want to talk about might actually save your children’s future — and put you in the history books, on the good side? … Ivanka, maybe you don’t fully realize this (I didn’t!) but your dad’s plans don’t just threaten polar bears and distant generations of humans. In fact, your father is about to lock in a grim future for his own children and grandchildren — your beautiful family. And mine.”
This summer, the editor-in-chief of the Mexican and Latin American editions of Marie Claire magazine made #DearIvanka a literal headline, using the Spanish translation #QueridaIvanka on the magazine’s cover, which showed a stereotypically glossy photo of the soon-to-be first daughter against an artfully stylized background of images of Americana. The issue was filled with letters to the then-candidate’s daughter from a number of women of various ages, backgrounds, and occupations all unified in their concern about what a Trump presidency might mean for the world writ large — and all of whom believed that Ivanka was in a position to exert some influence over her father and assuage their fears.