Taking Action in 2017

Instead of losing weight (which you probably won’t do anyway), how about a new New Years’ Resolution? How about committing yourself to effecting true and concrete change in your world?

I have many gifts, but one of them is not insider knowledge of the political process and expertise on movement. I’ve compiled a list of resources here that are all about taking action, coordinated and orchestrated by people who know what they’re doing.

  • Harassing your representatives has gotten easier with technology!
    • Sign up for Daily Action Alerts and receive notifications with instructions about issues to address where you live. They’ll tell you what the issue is and who to call and what to say.
    • Sign up for emails from flippable.org, an organization with the sole intent of flipping legislatures up and down the board to blue. You can also sign up for emails from wall-of-us.org, which will send you concrete action items each week.
    • Get the Countable app, which keeps you informed about the issues (and arguments on either side of them). Send a video message to your representatives, even. It’ll tell you how your representatives voted on certain issues, too, which is my favorite feature.
  • Find out when your local town hall meetings are, and go to them. Mark them on your calendar. You may have to call your member of Congress’s office to find out when they are.
  • Protest. Maybe you want to try one out for Inauguration Day. Personally, I am not experienced with protesting. People like to argue that protesting isn’t doing anything. Done correctly protesting accomplishes a lot. Stay safe. Follow some advice.
  • Join Shaun King’s Injustice Boycott, where they will email you stuff on how to best speak with your money. His focus is on racial equality.
  • Read and internalize this list of ways to “normalize” female voices in scenarios where men typically control the conversation.
  • Make a nice cup of tea and cozy up with this huge detailed guide to how we can use the Tea Party’s strategies to be huge assholes and effect change. Spoiler alert: we have more advantages than they did, and they still wreaked havoc on the government. Let’s do it for the good guys now.
  • If you’re a reader, write a rough schedule for your reading through 2017. Be very conscious of including people of color and women as your authors, as they are generally underrepresented in mainstream literature. My “action items” page has a lot of authors on it, but there are countless lists online of reading for social justice.

Your vote is only a vote, can only be exercised sometimes and can only go so far. But your voice is loud and infinite. You are smart. You are free. Do not squander these gifts.

We can say, “Fuck you, 2016.” And we have good reasons to. But what lies ahead will be darker. In 2017, it begins. We must be bold, we must be badass, we must be focused.

Action Items

  • All of the above.
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Author: Melissa

Melissa is an artist and half-architect living in New Orleans, Louisiana.

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