- the policy or action of using vigorous campaigning to bring about political or social change.
I’ve always been more of a social activist than political but our current atmosphere doesn’t allow anyone to opt out of being politically engaged. Our lives literally depend on it – governors (elected) are responsible for reopening our states during this pandemic, district attorneys (elected) are responsible for deciding whether or not to charge cops who kill, congress (elected) and city councils (elected) control our national and local budgets. We have to tune in, get involved, hold these elected leaders accountable. Voice your concerns, make your demands, and VOTE THEM OUT when they operate against the will of their constituents (YOU). We’ve been on autopilot too long and we’ve got to take back what is ours. If you pay taxes in this country and are subject to the laws of this country, you need to tap in, too. Its time to “be the change you want to see in the world.”
I want to get involved but I don’t know where to start.
First things first: VOTE. Are you registered?
Then, sign up to be a poll worker in your county. Why? Because this voting process is a sh*t show and I don’t think you’ll believe me until you see it for yourself. I’m not putting this on the actual workers but voter suppression at the leadership levels is REAL. The lack of preparedness, proper instructions and resources to poll workers resulted in the multi-hour long wait times and is a form of voter suppression. Check out my experience as a poll worker during the June 9th election and you’ll understand my concerns. SIGN UP!
SO, I registered. Now what?
- 2020 was a major election year but 2021 continues to host a series of important municipal races. There will be lots of options on your ballot when you get to your voting precinct. Check out a Sample Ballot before you go.
- DID YOU KNOW: If you request a Non-Partisan ballot, you will not get to vote for President or for State and Federal legislative seats in the primaries. (They don’t want you to be independent, guys… ) Here’s an article from the AJC with more details on how non-partisan voters are limited in Georgia.
- Who are these people? You’re looking at your sample ballot and there are a lot more people than you bargained for, right? Its time to do some research. Here are some sites that help you navigate who is running for what and why you should vote for them:
- Ballotpedia – They also offer sample ballots along with details on most candidates. The smaller the race, the harder it may be to get info but they do a good job of getting candidate responses to help you decide if that person is for you or not.
- isidewith.com – I like this site because it allows you to see which candidate best matches your beliefs vs party affiliation through a quiz that’s based off of candidate platforms and statements.
I’m looking for organizations to join.
Donate your money, time and talents:
- American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU): With more than 1.5 million members, nearly 300 staff attorneys, thousands of volunteer attorneys, and offices throughout the nation, the ACLU of today continues to fight government abuse and to vigorously defend individual freedoms including speech and religion, a woman’s right to choose, the right to due process, citizens’ rights to privacy and much more.
- In light of the ongoing protests, I’ve been volunteering with the ACLU as a trained Legal Observer. The training was quick, the impact is immeasurable. You are the eyes and ears for the ACLU attorneys and you essentially get to police the police. Let’s be real, tis a good feeling. Let me know if you want info to be an LO in Atlanta.
- The New Georgia Project: a nonpartisan effort to register and civically engage Georgians.
- National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP): The NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. From the ballot box to the classroom, the thousands of dedicated workers, organizers, leaders and members who make up the NAACP continue to fight for social justice for all Americans.
- National Urban League
- Urban League of Greater Atlanta: ULGA is a dedicated person-to-person organization invested in the economic success of African-Americans; coaching them to a better life through education and job skills training, financial literacy and wealth creation, housing and community development, youth empowerment, and civic engagement and leadership.
- Urban League of Greater Atlanta -Young Professionals: The mission of ULGA-YP is to support the National Urban League movement through volunteerism, philanthropy, and membership development. We accomplish this by supporting our local affiliate, The Urban League of Greater Atlanta, providing a forum for the development of young professionals and engagement of Atlanta’s youth.
- Urban League Guild: Guilders are the heart and soul of the Urban League movement, contributing thousands of volunteer hours each year and fulfilling a pivotal role in connecting the Urban League’s mission to the communities we serve. Guild members act as tutors and mentors, helping community members develop leadership skills and engage them in the issues that shape their lives.
I’m sick of this sh*t. I want to run for office.
If you know you can do better than (insert clown official who is not serving your community here), run for their spot! This SLATE guide is a great resource for finding candidate trainings, books, and other tools to get you campaign trail ready.
For the ladies, check out Georgia WIN List, a “grassroots Political Action Committee (PAC) dedicated to changing the face of power in Georgia by recruiting, training, supporting, electing and re-electing Democratic women for statewide and legislative office who will be effective advocates for the issues most important to women and families, including the preservation of reproductive freedom.”