Activism 2017
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What you can do
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Less Time/MoneyVOTE: Vote in every election. Learn when there are upcoming elections for your county and state (these are often mid-term or odd-numbered years, like the 2017 election in Virginia that will determine the governership and state legislature) by going to your county's or state's board-of-elections website. Mark the dates in your phone and set reminders. And seriously, vote in the damn midterm primaries and elections (like 2018), not just the Presidential years.
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VCALL: Call your Senators and Representatives periodically, anywhere from once per month to once or more per week. Check https://5calls.org/ to find out whom to call (including names and numbers), and what relevant bills/resolutions you can reference (if applicable); they even have sample scripts. (My guide also has other tips for calling your reps.)
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VATTEND: Attend town halls and similar events hosted by your Senators and Representatives. Follow their Facebook page to get notifications on when and where they'll be, set a reminder in your phone, and then show up. Once there, you can listen, meet with like-minded people, and/or pose questions directly to your reps.
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VMARCH: Attend marches and demonstrations when they arise on issues you care about. Follow groups on Facebook and join some email lists to find out about upcoming ones, and mark them in your calendar. These can be small ones organized in short order (such as the ones against the Muslim Immigration Ban), large ones with more planning (such as the Women's March), or local ones (such as shows of solidarity at a local house of worship).
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VSUPPORT: Support your friends, family, and neighbors, particularly those who are vulnerable and facing difficulty. This can include being a good friend, periodically checking in on them, reaching out when you need help yourself (especially as you yourself may also be facing difficulty, so don't count yourself out), and generally letting folks know we're not alone.
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VDONATE: Donate when you can or set up recurring donations to organizations dedicated to fighting oppression and bigotry, and to political candidates (at the local, state, and federal level) that you support. Examples include the ACLU, SPLC, IRAP, and CAIR. Examples also include local charities and organizations in your immediate area. (My guide has a lot of these under the "Organizations" tab.)
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VSPEAK: Speak out on issues that concern you, and in response to when you see people (or yourself) being targeted or harassed. Do some research to make sure you can recognize immediately when someone (including yourself) is being harassed (as even if you've been in that situation, it's hard to realize when it happens in the moment quickly enough to react). Don't be afraid to write posts on Facebook expressing your feelings (and delete/block posts/people who harass you in response). Look into writing letters to the editor in your local paper.
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VVOLUNTEER: Volunteer at local organizations or local chapters of large organizations, dedicated to fighting oppression and serving people who are vulnerable. Follow the organization's Facebook page or sign up for their email list to get regular announcements of upcoming volunteer opportunities.
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VORGANIZE: Organize marches, demonstrations, petitions, or other direct actions. At this point you are taking more independent action, and so you'll need to do your own research to figure out what comes next.
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More Time/MoneyRUN: If you're extremely dedicated and have the resources, you can also start running for office. Start local -- city, county, or state legislature -- and go from there. Remember you're focused on your community first.
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