work>activism?

I have been feeling some extra angst recently with the upcoming midterm elections. The ballots were mailed out and I’ve been educating myself on everything about the people running and the ballot measures listed. I haven’t participated in activism this election cycle, and that bothers me. My job and daily responsibilities have made it so I don’t have the emotional energy to make commitments to after-work political activities.

In thinking about this I have been digging for the small things that I can be doing to help make an impact. I don’t have all the answers or a perfect plan but here are a few things I am doing.
  • Talking, helping people feel secure in their choices about who and what ballot measures to vote for can help get one more vote. I often feel like I don’t want to come across as pushing my political beliefs on people. It takes some positive affirmations to convince myself to take the leap and share what I think and listen to the feedback on it.
  • Educate yourself, you cannot talk to people about what’s on the ballot if you yourself don’t know. On top of that, knowing what the ballot measures mean and what the people on the ballot stand for. It’s only a small bit of digging to find out the details of candidate platforms and the pros and cons of ballot measures. There are also so many “voter guides” and “ballot guides” put out by local and national organizations. We live in the beautiful time of the internet, where information is available from across the globe in your living room (there are definitely pros and cons of this but it’s a pro in this context).
  • Use your social media presence for good, share what you care about on the internet. Remind family and friends to make plans for voting day. Social media is also a space where you can do the previous suggestions: talking and educating yourself. I am no fan of the heated back and forth in the comment sections of Facebook post but I am always comfortable messaging people and asking questions and sharing my point of view in the hopes that they’ll be understanding and not try to win the conversation when there is not an audience.
If you can share some time and energy to knock on doors, make phone calls or send text messages by all means do it!  I’m hoping my small actions lead to positive change this year and that in the future I’ll be able to be more active again.
What are you doing this election season to help make a difference?
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