Saturday. Saturday was a beautiful day. A beautiful day where millions of people all around the world came together to protest the presidency and to stand up for women's rights. People on all 7 continents marched, peacefully, to say that we will not accept this administration. We will not sit down while our rights are steamrolled. We will fight back and we will not be quiet about the injustices in this country and world. The Women's March on Washington and it's sister marches around the world represent the largest gatherings of people in protest the world has ever seen. There is power in numbers, but only if we continue to speak up and to act. The marches were amazing and beautiful and powerful and moving, but they were only one day. We must carry this momentum forward and use our collective power to take action on the issues that matter to us. We cannot go home, feeling all warm and fuzzy from the marches, and not act on this momentum.
I participated in the Women's March on Washington's sister march in Houston. I've never protested before and, other than voting, I've never really taken any political action. I feel like my silence and complacency is to blame for the current political situation we find ourselves in today. These next four years are going to be difficult, but I'm not going to sit idly by. I will not be a spectator to the stripping of basic human rights for so many. I will not watch this country crash and burn without putting up a fight. But I've never done this before, and I'm willing to bet that many, if not most, of the participants in the marches haven't taken much, if any, political actions in their lives. So what can we do? Where do we start? In my quest for trying to figure this out, I've come across several helpful ideas for concrete action we can all take and I want to share them with you.
Pick Your Causes
You can't fight all of the battles no matter how much you want to. All of the causes we're fighting for are important, but you need to pick the three, maybe four, that matter most to you. Put your focus on those issues - learn everything you can about them, know all of the proposed legislation, policy changes, arguments for and against, counter arguments, and where your elected officials stand, and then take action on those causes. Volunteer for those causes. Donate to those causes. Argue for those causes. Don't feel like you're abandoning the other, very valid causes, because someone else will be focusing just as much on them as you are on yours. If we can all have laser focus on the issues we are most passionate about, the chances for affecting change increase. When you spread yourself too thin, across all issues, then you're not able to focus and dedicate your energy and time in an efficient way. And you can still stand behind, encourage, and support those fighting for other causes - petitions can still be signed, calls can still be made, information can still be shared - your laser focus doesn't mean you're turning your back on other causes - it means you're an expert on them.
10 Actions in 100 Days
Now that you've decided on what important issues you're going to focus on, go to the Women's March on Washington's 10 Actions in 100 Days page. Here you will find 10 actions to take in the first 100 days in an easy to follow, step by step list. The first one is to write to your Senators about what matters most to you and how you are going to continue fighting for those causes. Commit to taking the other 9 actions and follow through on them!!! Get together with some friends, once every 10 days, to work on these action items together. Together we can make a difference!!!
Call Your Senators and Representatives
Pick up your cell phone, click here to find your Senators' contact into and click here to find your Representative's contact info. Now add them to your contact list. Right now. Call them every day. Every. Day. The calls take literally two minutes or less. Check out The Shy Person's Guide to Calling Representatives for some great tips on how to dive in and get this done. Not sure what to say? Scripts can be found here. Easy, cheesey.
Sign Up for an Action List
Wall Of Us Emails you 4 simple acts of resistance every week
Action Friday Provides simple actions to take every Friday
Jennifer Hoffman's Weekly Action Checklist Don't be intimidated by the size of this list!!!
The 65 Weekly action item as well as scripts for many issues
I know there are other action lists out there. Find one you like. Sign up for the emails. Follow the instructions.
These are the things I'm doing to become more politically active and to make sure my voice is heard - even if it feels like my words are sometimes falling on deaf ears. But I'm going to keep on talking and keep on taking action. It seems so intimidating at the beginning - and I'm only at the beginning, too, but the more you practice something, the easier it gets. So I urge you to start practicing. Make political action something second nature to you. Our futures depend on our collective actions. We cannot afford to sit back and watch. We MUST take action. So go out there and use our momentum - don't slow down. What are your waiting for? Go.