Are You Politically Active?

Government, either local or national, can play a significant role in your life. Do you take part in that political process? Are you politically active?

In the United States, there is currently a hotly-contested presidential race, and in many countries all around the world there are several high-profile elections taking place.

Even beyond that, there are almost always local elections happening wherever you happen to be. These can influence issues from setting school policies to trash pickup schedules.

At what level are you involved in this process?

One way to be involved is simply to vote. Depending on your community, there are are possibly a couple of times a year you can show up to vote in local, state, or federal elections.

Beyond that, you can be informed when you vote. Knowing something about the candidates shows a certain level of civic engagement. Are there debates to watch and/or attend? Are there voting records available? Do you talk to other potential voters to get their opinions?

The more engaged person may even join a campaign or try to influence the outcome of a particular election. That might include making phone calls, knocking on doors, putting up lawn signs, or donating money. If you believe in a particular cause or candidate, that might be for you.

Or you could even run for office yourself, or otherwise work for the government. There are hundreds of thousands of people serving in various roles like serving on town committees or doing research or working at a school. There are many ways to be involved, regardless of experience or skill set.

Or, of course, you might not be engaged in any way at all. Each of these kinds of involvement takes some level of time or effort. It can be difficult, if you have a busy life, to find time in your schedule to participate.

How politically active are you?

Related questions: Do you have a plan to vote? What role should government play in our lives? What are our responsibilities to others?

1 thought on “Are You Politically Active?”

  1. I am an advocate for housing justice issues. In practice, my job is to lobby local, state, and federal representatives to be vocal and vote as the organization I work for wants. I also urge others to contact those same officials and share stories about why voting for housing justice means something to them personally.

    Outside my job, I am also politically active. Sometimes, I attend my community’s precinct caucuses. Often, I make calls or door-knock my neighbors, urging them to support candidates I believe in. I also financially contribute to a few of the candidates I support each election cycle. And, of course, I vote.

    Lastly, I gobble up news and rumors about the politics of the day. Our household gets the New York Times and our major local paper. We get the magazine The Atlantic. On my dime, I get Foreign Affairs. I also check out three independent online newspapers.

    While this may sound like a lot to some, I actively encourage people to at least do one thing. If you aren’t currently a voter, educate yourself and do so. Do you care about an issue deeply? Make a call to your elected representative and urge them to vote in a certain way–personal stories are always better than facts and statistics. If you’re intimidated by the prospect of calling your elected official, call after hours and share why you care over voicemail or send an email. Doing something is better than nothing.

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