Written by Helen Thias
Sometimes it can be difficult when politics don’t go your way, whether you’ve been bitter these past 8 years, or are worried about what the next 8 years might look like. Whether this election went your way or not it is important to stay involved in politics, even if you are not old enough to vote yet. It can be extremely frustrating when you are unable to vote because you often feel like you have no say in choices that affect you. But it’s important to know that there are ways to be politically active beyond voting, and it’s also important to stay involved in politics in the two-term years. As the senate and house often have a more direct effect on local politics. Here are some things you can do to be politically pro-active:
- Communicate with your representative is important because they vote on a policy that affects the state and because they can also write the policy that may have a more direct effect on your life than that proposed on a national level.
-Unsure who represents you? Use the Legislator Lookup, all you have to do is type in your address and it will tell you who your house representative and senator are.
-How? When you use the Legislator Lookup or if you google one of legislators name, their email, phone number, and address. These are all effective ways of contacting your legislator when you contact them you can either directly address your issue or you can request a meeting. Often legislators have twitters, which can sometimes get you a quicker response because it is public and they want to be seen as responsive, because their jobs are dependent on public approval. I know that may seem silly to tweet at a politician, but I know of people who had been emailing their senator with no response for weeks and then sent a tweet and the senator immediately responded and set up a meeting with them.
- Keep the dialog going, having discussions with friends, acquaintances, family members, not only does this open your mind, it also helps them stay current and involved in politics. Having more people involved in have a lot greater impact than just one person. Yeah, politics are usually avoided and seen as impolite to talk about, but it’s so important to talk about, so do, just maybe don’t get to heated with your grandparents. Post on social media if you want, it could potentially get someone to look into politics or maybe even getting them to see a different view point. Before posting make sure you check to see if it is factual. Here are some sites you can use that to check before you post: Fact Checker and Snopes are both reliable sources for fact checking, and not just political posts.
- Vote with your money. There are many ways to do this, one way you can do this is by boycotting companies that do not align with your beliefs and instead support companies that are morally aligned with your beliefs as they often give to campaigns or put money into advertising for against a policy, another way you can vote with your wallet is by donating to organizations that support you values.
-If you support women’s rights here are some organizations that you may want to look into donating to:
-If you are interested in supporting organizations trying to combat climate change:
-If you are interested in helping organizations working to combat poverty:
-If you support racial equality here are some organizations to look into:
- National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
- National Immigration Project
- Innocence Project
These are just a few of the many ways you can become politically involved, spread the word and discover what you can do.