Your Guide to Being a Kickass Advocate--In The Suburbs

January 31, 2017

Feeling Politically Futile? Here’s How You Can Actually Make a Difference

A version of this article previously appeared on Walking with Cake.

Since Trump took office, I’ve seen a mix of both hopefulness and despair among my friends and family. Living in a smaller city on the edge of Austin, there are plenty of opportunities for political action if you have the time and energy. Many of my friends with children seem anxious to participate, but unsure how to start, especially while juggling jobs, the needs of their families, and the minutiae of everyday life.

As an ethical blogger, I’m constantly reading, researching, and following the political climate in our country, though I absolutely understand that not everyone has the time to dedicate to these pursuits. Still, if you are looking for simple ways to make a difference in your community while attempting to resist Trump’s new regime, here are a few easy things to try.

Feeling Politically Futile? Here’s How You Can Actually Make a Difference

Join a local group, or organize your friends and family. You don’t need an agenda or regular meetings, but stay in touch with your loved ones who are equally concerned. You can lean on each other for support, attend protests or meetings together, and work to contact your members of Congress. There’s strength in numbers.

Follow your elected officials, at the local, state, and national levels. If you don’t know who represents you, now is the time to find out. Your local school board members often have access to your state legislature and even Congress, so share your opinions with them via social media, emails, and direct calls. Bug them if you have to–politely, of course.

Vote. This tip might seem obvious, but remember that mid-term elections are literally next year. If there’s a congressman making poor decisions (I’m looking at you, Michael McCaul), vote him out of office. Or, campaign for the officials you support.

Volunteer at your local school, community center, or food pantry. This is a great way to meet your neighbors while also giving back. You’ll get to know people you might not meet otherwise and hopefully learn a bit about their lives.

Support community businesses. Commit to shopping and eating in your neighborhood, and support Black, Muslim, and Latino-owned restaurants and stores. Encourage your friends and family to do the same.

Subscribe to your local paper and other sources, too. Freedom of the press is under attack, and it’s especially important now to understand where your news comes from. Facebook doesn’t cut it, and your local news channel runs on ratings. Find trusted sources you believe in and check them regularly. Many online news subscriptions also offer daily and weekly recaps. I support my local newspaper, The New York Times, and The Guardian.

I hope you find these suggestions helpful, and feel free to offer your own. Great change can come when we work with our friends and neighbors to make a difference in our own communities–and now is our chance.

Additional resources:
A Texan’s Political Guide to Resisting Trump, from The Texas Observer.
Indivisible: A Practical Guide For Resisting the Trump Agenda
Allyship Post-Trump: 5 Things to Remember, from JooJoo Azad.
My post on The Ethical News Consumer.

Are there any other ways to get involved and be an advocate that you would add to this list? 

Also by Catherine: I Tried It: Natural Lash and Brow Enhancing Serum

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Catherine is a wife, mom, blogger, and writer, who blogs about ethical fashion, natural beauty, social issues, and everything in between at Walking with Cake.


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