The news gets crazier every day, but even if trump disappeared in a puff of smoke tomorrow, we’d still have lots of work to do. So, how do you know what to do?
First stop is the Indivisible Guide. Written by former Hill staffers, the guide tells you how to take action effectively. One thing you’ll learn from the guide is that calling your members of Congress is effective, so I suggest putting their numbers into your phone to make calling easy. I use the numbers for the local offices, rather than the D.C. office, and if one local office is busy, try another one. Calls are easy to make; you don’t really need a script, just tell them your name and where you live, and what you want your member to do. Or you can call to thank them for something they’ve done; positive strokes are good too.
Should you call if your represented by a Democrat? Absolutely. Democrats need some spine-stiffening, and it will only come from us. They need to know that if they take a bolder approach, their voters want it. If you’re represented by a Republican, call away. Yes, you might live in a safely red district, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t enough people like you to make him reconsider whether he really wants to defund Planned Parenthood. If you’re going to be complaining about something on social media or bitching about it to your friends, make the call first.
Hard to keep with everything, isn’t it? There are a number of email lists you can sign up for that will send you daily or weekly ideas for actions to take, with options for different time commitments. My Civic Workout, Do A Thing, and Wall of Us are three that I’m subscribed to. There are numerous Facebook groups that I can’t point you to because I have an aversion to Facebook, but they’re out there, and several of these sites will help you find them. Another big list of resources is here, highlighted by the Town Hall Project, which tracks Congressional town halls and other availabilities.
And give! Time or money. The ACLU got the biggest chunk of my money soon after the election, because we had already been regular donors there, but we gave a much bigger chunk. Decide what aspect of all the terrible things happening is the most important to you, and focus there.
Now, let’s talk local. trump and the R’s won not because we were mean to conservatives or because we live in a bubble, trump and the R’s won because we got complacent. We didn’t pay enough attention to legislatures and downballot. Our values matter even more at the neighborhood level than at the state level. Lots of city council seats and school board seats will be up for election this year. Is your council or board implementing your values? Does the composition of the board or council resemble the city or district they represent? If not, what are you going to do about it? Run? Identify an ally and her run? Either way, time to get to work.
I just got my first invite for a kickoff fundraiser for my congressmember’s re-election campaign in 2018, so the battle to take the House is underway. Consider donating to a campaign, even if you don’t have a lot to donate. Attend an event, get a chance to meet your representative and ask a question.
Volunteer for a campaign. Go to your local Democratic organization meeting, and connect with like-minded souls. You’ll never be an apathetic voter again; your ballot will be turned in first thing. Next thing you know, you’ll be sitting through city council meetings,
Any other ideas people have, share them in comments.