2020 Is Coming! Or, How To Ease Back Into Activism
The midterms have come and gone. The Mueller Report came out. Presidential candidates are campaigning. You can see the 2020 presidential election on the horizon, and you know you want to do something. But, what? Here are four quick ways to get back into the activism habit.
1. Engage with your state legislature. In many states, 2018 ushered in a new wave of legislators who are now debating bills and passing laws that affect us where we live. All over the country, legislatures are debating topics ranging from campaign finance to gun sense legislation to reproductive health care to environmental and business practices, and you have the right to attend hearings, contact your legislators, and provide testimony. But, how do you find out what your state legislature is doing? In Oregon, we are fortunate to have a grassroots group, One Small Thing PDX, whose Legislative Task Force has done the hard work of analyzing legislation, providing pros and cons on various bills, sharing research, and creating a calendar of hearings,advocacy days, and opportunities to meet with representatives. This fantastic resource helps Oregonians engage in and influence the legislative process. If you don’t live in Oregon, this link will connect you with your state legislature so you can find out about bills and hearings and get contact information for your representatives. If you decide, you’d like to give testimony, we have a guide for that!
2. Donate money to an election fund. While there’s still time to settle on a favorite candidate, whoever wins the Democratic nomination must defeat Trump at the ballot box. To do that, we need to register voters, get out Democratic messages, and pound the pavement for the nominee. It’s going to contentious, nerve wracking, and since we don’t have strict campaign finance laws, expensive. To make sure the nominee moves seamlessly from the primaries to the general election, Swing Left started the Unify or Die Fund. All the money will be donated to the nominee after the convention in July so there will be an immediate influx of funds.
3. Influence your members of Congress. Got opinions on what needs to happen now that the Mueller Report has been released? Do you want to make your views known about court nominations? Do you have strong views about health care? Connect with Indivisible! Indivisible works to elect progressive candidates, hold our leaders accountable, and defeat the Trump agenda by giving you tools to interact with your Congressional delegation. There are thousands of local chapters all over the country. They provide scripts for making phone calls and sending emails, arrange visits to local offices, and organize activities such as rallies, postcarding, and phonebanking. You can find your local Indivisible group here. Our local group, Indivisible Oregon, provides a daily action for calling our representatives.
4. Write letters to encourage people to vote in crucial local elections. One of the lessons of 2018 is that personal connections are crucial in getting people to participate in the political process. Vote Forward provides an easy way to do that. Their goal is to turn unlikely voters into likely voters and “flip the USA blue!” Get out your colored pens and highlighters! You sign up to write letters for a specific election, and Vote Forward provides a template to personalize and mail. Write letters with your morning coffee or evening tea, or get a group of friends together for letter-writing and socializing!