Jessica Del Pilar
Clayton parent Jessica Del Pilar has taken to the streets in response to the state of politics
Clayton resident Jessica Del Pilar has been participating in the fight against injustice alongside many others in the Clayton community. The Glenridge mother of two has become involved with different groups, marches and Lobby Days for over a year. With the future of her country and her children in mind, Del Pilar is doing what she can to better society, as well as increase her involvement in democracy.
“I started getting involved with Moms Demand Action, a sensible gun law body, with a lobby day in Jefferson City,” Del Pilar said. “I got involved in helping Jason Kander’s campaign.”
As Del Pilar continued her work in the community, the recent election opened her eyes to additional steps she could be taking.
“November 8 came around and I realized that what I was doing was simply not enough,” Del Pilar said.
Del Pilar makes an effort to educate her children on politics, despite the complicated and mature nature of some of the country’s issues.
“It’s very helpful for me to have a conversation with a fifth grader, because it helps me break it down to really what the key issue is and not get lost in all of the elements that surround it,” Del Pilar said. “Whether you’re talking about abortion or unequal pay or systemic racism – all of those things are hefty topics.”
Del Pilar has taken her children on door knocking campaigns for Jason Kander as well as to St. Louis Lambert International Airport to protest the travel ban. In addition, she and her 10-year-old daughter attended the Women’s march in Washington D.C.
“I’ve been going to the Wednesday protests in front of Roy Blunt’s office, I joined a progressive pod, I went to the Pro-Choice march and I keep finding myself needing to check in with how I feel about each experience,” Del Pilar said. “Because you don’t want to blindly follow. You want to make sure that what you’re doing does align with your morals and values.”
To Del Pilar, political involvement is a movement long overdue. Citizen participation in the local, state and national government is a crucial element in a functioning democracy.
“As a society we’ve done a terrible job of teaching civics in schools and even within our communities,” Del Pilar said. “For that to have been my first trip into an estate house at 37—Democracy is dependent on civic engagement. Outside of writing your check for your candidate and showing up to vote on election day, it seems we have really lost our way.”
Del Pilar has always had a deep desire for fairness and justice, not to mention how this new administration potentially threatens the rights of herself as well as the people she cares about.
“My husband is a first generation American—I’m a twelfth generation American and the perspective that you take is very interesting too,” said Del Pilar. “And as a woman, I think that there are a lot of rights that we very recently have acquired. And not only for myself but for my daughter. To not focus on that would be to fail us both.”
Del Pilar looks to the future with a mindset focused on building and adding to society, instead of merely stopping and protesting actions that she finds unjust.
“Coming off of all of these experiences, I’m finding that while I want to be part of the resistance, I also feel like I don’t always want to be on the defensive side,” Del Pilar said. “What we’re doing only continues this antagonistic approach to everything. I want to be a member of the progress, the forward movement and identifying goals, then achieving those goals. I’ve been to all of these marches, and the women’s march, but that was an introduction to an anthology. I don’t know what this book is or what this chapter in history is going to look like, but this just felt like the start.”