You’re set to vote in the midterms. You’ve been following the news for political updates. You told yourself that this is is the election cycle where things would be different. You’ve made the commitment, once and for all, to get more involved in politics.
Why? Well, there’s far too many issues at stake, you say. There’s so much more that can be done, you argue. And, there’s no time like the present to take action. But, exactly, how does one go about getting more involved in politics, if voting simply ain’t enough?
Here’s a few ideas on where you can start.
How to get more involved in politics.
Attend local town halls or city council meetings
It can be easy to focus solely on national elections and big political races. But, one of the easiest ways you can become more involved in politics is by checking out what’s going on in your town and city. Look up your city’s town hall calendar online. See what the agenda is about and make it a point to show up (or read up on the public minutes available afterward. You can do the same for city council meetings.
Attending these local government meetings will connect you to other like-minded and civic-bound constituents. You’ll also learn more about how government works and likely hear about upcoming events, causes, and issues in the community.
Get in touch with your local representatives
We’re living in a new age where the internet (and Twitter) has helped mobilize grassroots organizations and helped rally people to causes. That being said, there’s only so much you can do on the internet. Aside from pounding the pavement and talking to people offline, you have to capture the attention of your local state representatives. (They are, after all, liable to you as a constituent.) The problem is, members of Congress aren’t always on Twitter or social media.
The best ways to get in touch with them is largely by writing a letter to their district state or calling their local office to leave a voicemail. Here’s a great Twitter thread on some of the most effective tactics. You can find their local office information here.
Work with a campaign you believe in
Have you found yourself recently inspired by a particular candidate? Contact their campaign headquarters to see how you can donate your time and resources. Campaigns are always looking for volunteers and there’s no shortage of tasks that you can help with.
Even if it’s just distributing flyers locally, you’ll get a feel for what it takes to get the message out.
Attend a rally, protest or other political event
Take some time to search for upcoming political events in your city. Facebook is a great way to search event pages for rallies, protests or political and campaign events. Organizers will usually post guidelines to different marches or events so that attendees know the itinerary ahead of time.
These are great opportunities for you to make your voice heard in the public square, whether that’s by simply showing up or holding a poster to convey your stance on an issue.
Volunteer to register voters
Finally, you might be registered to vote. But when was the last time you asked your friends, family and those in your neighborhood if they’re all set up to vote? Volunteer your time to help register local residents for upcoming elections.
In doing so, you’ll also get the opportunity to hear about what issues are of most concern to other residents. And, most importantly, you’ll help ensure that the next election is at top of mind for everyone in your community.
Remember you can start the voting registration process by texting “GIRLBOSS” to RTVOTE.