Emma Shannon and Izzy Bodian Connor have been friends since kindergarten at Kings Highway Elementary School.
They were fellow Girl Scouts. They went through Bedford Middle School together, then graduated from Staples High in 2002.
Their paths diverged a bit — Emma captained the cross country and track teams, while Izzy swam and played water polo — but both joined the Students Supporting AIDS Awareness Club (Izzy was president).
Both have been marching for various causes since 2004. They did not join the recent protest in Westport — Emma, a freelance creative director, lives in Brooklyn with her husband, SHS ’96 grad Jason Sorley, while Izzy is a national sales director for a residential real estate law firm, and lives with her husband in Washington, DC. But they have not stopped advocating.
And doing it together.
Their latest venture is Let’s Go Postal. The women call it a “1-stop shop for a postcard protest party.” They’ve designed kits that include attention (“not pussy”) grabbing postcards; talking points and sample letters for timely issues; geo-targeted addresses for users’ congressional representatives; stamps and pens.
Plus a corkscrew. “It helps the drinks — and the ink — flow,” they explain.
Inspired by the Women’s March in January, Emma and Izzy were distressed to see congressmen avoid constituents by skipping town hall meetings and turning off their phones.
“It’s unacceptable to refuse to interact with the people they claim to represent,” Izzy says. “So we decided to go old school. The mailmen and women always deliver.”
Izzy went to college in Washington. Emma was in a conservative part of Virginia. My only solace was finding other people who felt equally enraged, and protesting with them,” she says. “Maybe it’s a bubble, but it’s powerful and palpable when you gather with people to take a stand. We wanted to harness that feeling.”
They’ve taken it, she says, “from the Mall to the mail.”
The women are selling their kits through their LetsGoPostal.com website. “Can you imagine how many Girl Scout cookies we could have sold if we’d had the internet?” the longtime friends wonder.
Years after that experience, Izzy notes, “We’re Millennials. We want to click and be done. But that won’t work in Washington.”
“The power is in the postmark,” Emma adds. “When they see my zip code, they know it’s their constituent.
“I can only vote one day in November. But I can write every day.”