The hoopla is over. The deed has been done. Now it's time for us to take heed and get to work. If you are not already, NOW is the time to get involved in your communities and to hold our elected officials accountable for their actions. Here's how--

1. Figure out what you stand for. Define your values. You can NOT get involved if you don't know who you are!

2. Find things that you are interested in--schools/education, pets/animals, eldercare, crime, affordable healthcare, etc. If you are new to dabbling in activism, choose only one thing and learn all you can about it, at your local level. Know who the players are on both sides of the issues.

3. Locate an organization that both shares your values and your interests. If you are interested in education, then perhaps that might be your local PTA. Check out their website, see where they stand on the issues. Are their views inline with your own? If so, go to a meeting. Volunteer for something. It doesn't have to be a huge role--put stamps on envelopes, or hand out flyers. Commit your time and/or your money. Again, it doesn't have to be much--$20 a month is more than 200 dollars a year. That's significant for a small organization. If you can not find an organization whose agenda you agree with, start your own! Find like minds and have at it! It's easier than you think.

3. Seek out your local elected officials. Call your councilman, alderman, or neighborhood representative's office. Tell them you are a constituent and you want to meet with them. Go to their office. Ask where they stand on the issues. Tell them where you stand and why. BE RESPECTFUL. Engage them in meaningful dialogue. Ask what the most pressing problem in your community is and how you can help with it. NOTE: You do NOT have to be in agreement with your elected officials, but remember that they work for YOU. Let them know that you will be holding them to task for their decisions. Trust me, there is something to be said for being on first name basis with an elected official.

4. Repeat step 3 at the city level.

5. Repeat step 3 at the state level.

We can no longer sit back and let others make the decisions that affect our lives. If the decision goes against us, let it not be for lack of effort on our parts. Obama won a historic election in a country where 5 years ago, nobody even knew his name outside of Chicago. It can be done--YES WE CAN!

Your comments--priceless!
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2 Responses
  1. cmiles Says:

    Bravo!!

    You covered it all.


  2. catladysd Says:

    oh i couldn't agree more. one of my favorite jobs, was working for a grassroots drug prevention/intervention, community action center. i carried forth what we did there and learned there, i go to city council meetings, i even sometimes speak. it is such a rush to get involved, whether it be going and listening, volunteering in the community, whatever. you really become a part of instead of just a traveler.


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