At this particular moment, the most important thing I think we can each do is to choose to engage more in the practice of democracy. Democracy cannot be a spectator sport. Let’s each find a way or ways to define it. Shape it. Deepen in.
This summer, much of the focus was on public protest – on the streets and in our courthouses. Right now, with 44 days left, let’s focus on the November elections – as are for example the Movement for Black Lives’ Electoral Justice Voter Fund and the Working Families Party.
In addition to voting and redistributing wealth to organizations representing people on the front lines of organizing in your own communities and nationally (if you want suggestions, feel free to ask me), here are some other things we can do right now:
- The Senate, running on unanimous consent, can be brought to a halt by any individual objection. Contact your senators and sign this timely petition to the Senate (and this one) to demand that, according to her last wish, the late great Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg not be replaced until after 2021 inauguration.
- Want to make the best use of your vote at all levels of government but now sure how? Do you or people you know live in CA, CO, MI, PA, VA, WA or WI? Check out, help spread the word about, and use the Progressive Voters Guide. Maybe there’s an equivalent resource where you are.
- This Voting Action Hub connected to Stacy Abrams’ All in the Fight for Democracy campaign (and film available on Amazon) has created a one-stop-shop for access to voting. Pass it on. People can register, check their status, request a mail-in ballot, find out the voting options in their state, get reminders, find their polling place, see what’s on their ballot, review their rights, and access free Election Protection hotline numbers – all from the same page.
- Rock the Vote, a nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to building the political power of young people, has their own action hub.
- Get informed about and help safeguard the three pillars of voter protection where you vote: registration rolls, the vote by mail process and the counting of ballots. Do you and people you know have a voting plan? Assess the risks of voting by mail or in person in your area. Are there going to be drop boxes available? If you’re voting by mail, mail your ballot in at least a week early. Are there going to be election protectionists at the polls and/or confirming that all ballots are admitted and counted fairly? Are there ways you could support them?
Want to do more?:
- Seed the Vote with targeted phone banking any Sunday from now to election day.
- Get involved with Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) electoral work by becoming or supporting an Election Defender, or with reaching out to white voters in Georgia.
- Find ways to support Grassroots Election Protection here or by emailing Harvey Wasserman at firstname.lastname@example.org .
- Join or initiate Living Room Conversations to practice talking across the divides created by this system.
- Read and choose ways to actively support the Breathe Act, federal legislation proposed by the Movement for Black Lives.
Encourage others. Set aside some time to make a voting plan with your people. Pass on these resources for action, or others, in your own way to your own people. Survey says if we each aim to inspire three or four people to vote, the path to the future could be brighter.