The purpose of my post today is to help you become engaged if you are as upset about the current Administration’s actions as I am. Therefore I am posting some helpful and specific actions to help you become involved in political activism. I hope you will take action and choose from this list. Democracy is about citizens becoming active and holding our elected officials accountable! We are one of the checks and balances of our republic.
First is an ABC list that I created for fun. Below that I’ve listed more definitive information prepared by former Colorado Senator Morgan Carroll, who also has an excellent book, “Take back your Government…A Citzen’s Guide to Grassroots Change” that goes into greater detail. One part is specific to Colorado, but can still be helpful to you in your own state when you find your own State website.
Feeling overwhelmed or depressed; read this article: https://medium.com/the-coffeelicious/how-to-stayoutraged-without-losing-your-mind-
MY ABC’S…. CIRCLES OF RESISTANCE
A ACCOUNTABILITY ACTIVITISTS. HOLD ELECTED OFFICIALS ACCOUNTABLE.
B BOYCOTT PRODUCTS & BUSINESSES BY UNSCRUPULOUS CORPORATIONS
C CONSISTENTLY CAL ELECTEDS, CONTACT AND CRUSH CRONYISM AND CORRUPTION
D DONATE TO WORTHWHILE CAUSES LIKE THE ACLU AND OTHER NON-PROFITS
E EDUCATE YOURSELF ON BILLS, ELECTIONS, ISSUES AND YOUR LEGISLATORS
F FACT CHECK; RESEARCH; AND BEWARE OF PROPAGANDA
G GET READY, GET ACTIVE, GET INVOLVED! GO!
H HELP DISSEMINATE DATA; RESIST HARM TO PEOPLE AND THE PLANET; STAND FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
I INFORM YOURSELF AND OTHERS; INSIST ON THE TRUTH!
J JUSTICE FOR ALL!
K KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK! KEEP UP CALLING, VISITING CONGRESSIONAL OFFICES!
L LOBBY AS A CITIZEN ON LEGISLATION. FOLLOW BILLS, TESTIFY AND GIVE INPUT ON BILLS.
M MEDIA. USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO POST, TWEET AND SPREAD FACTS. ENGAGE MEDIA OUTLETS.
N DOING NOTHING IS NOT AN OPTION! NO ONE CAN SIT ON THE SIDELINES
O ORGANIZE FOR POWER! OPPOSE CHANGES THAT ARE HARMFUL OR GO AGAINST CONSTITUION.
P PATRIOTICLY PROACTIVE, NOT REACTIVE; PROTEST POLITELY ON ISSUES AND POLICIES
Q QUICKLY RESIST HATRED, FEAR AND LIES. USE LOVE, LIGHT AND WISDOM.
R RECORD INTERRACTIONS WITH LEGISLATORS AND AT MARCHES; RUN FOR OFFICE
S SHOW UP IN PERSON AT LEGISLATORS OFFICES, RALLIES AND MARCHES
T TESTIFY ON BILLS! TEACH OTHERS!
U UNASS THE COUCH! U AND US ARE THE OTHER CHECKS AND BALANCES IN A DEMOCRACY
V VOTER OUTREACH. REGISTER VOTERS AND VOTE. VOLUNTEER TOO!
W WIN! WRITE AND WEIGH IN ON LEGISLATON AND KNOW WHO TO CONTACT.
X EXAMINE FACTS. BEWARE OF XENOCRACY; A GOVT FORMED BY FOREIGNERS OR OUTSIDERS.
Y YOU . TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF AND UNPLUG OCCASIONALLY SO YOU AREN’T OVERLOADED. CONNECT AND STRENGTHEN YOUR SUPPORT GROUPS AND FAMILY.
Z BE ZEALOUS IN SACRED ACTIVISM!
WHAT YOU CAN DO AS AN ADVOCATE: TO PREVENT HARM IN THE CURRENT FEDERAL POLITICAL CLIMATE? by Morgan Carroll
- Contact Trump White House & Trump Cabinet Members
Sign up for updates from President Trump: https://www.whitehouse.gov/transitionsplash/
Follow nominations, speeches, platform of Trump https://www.whitehouse.gov/
Contact his members of cabinet https://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/cabinet
- Blocking Trump Executive Orders.
Sue for Constitutionality to block. Help the organizations or individuals that can do this.
- Exceeds Article II Authority
- Violates Other Individual Constitutional Rights
- Block Trump Dangerous Nominees.
Contact the members of the U.S. Senate on the Senate committee with a vote https://www.senate.gov/
Contact your own U.S. Senators with a vote Urge “no” vote
Support U.S. Senators’ use of filibuster
- Challenge Trump Administrative new Rules or repeal of Obama Rules.
Citizen Testimony in Rulemaking.
Sue for failure to follow APA.
Sign up to get notices: https://www.federalregister.gov/
Process Not Followed
Violates Constitution or Federal Statute
Shaping Legislation. https://www.congress.gov/
- Proactive Legislation
Find areas of common ground with some members & Coalition Build
Find and cultivate unusual allies around key issues
Email, Calls, Petitions, Media Op Ed to Support
- Defensive Legislation
Engage to Prevent harmful legislation:
Email, Calls, Petitions, Media Op Ed to Oppose
Find and cultivate unusual allies around key issues
Amend Bad Legislation: e.g. Congressman Polis on Rules Committee
Filibuster (1) & Cloture (60 Votes)
Defund Bad Bills Through the Budget
Sue to block implementation
- Show Up At Their Office. If phone calls, petitions and emails aren’t getting through, show up to an elected officials office (with the press) and ask to be heard.
- Work Through Professional Trade Associations.
If you are or were active in any professional trade associations that might be a different voice to oppose harmful measures. Consider lending your support to their effort.
Most federal courts have Obama appointees.
Sue to block harmful exec. Order, rules, legislation in key venues.
The courts played a significant role for Civil Rights.
Donate to progressive non-profits with legal infrastructure to challenge.
If you are an attorney volunteer pro bono for legal work with those groups.
- Support Progressive Non-Profits.
Donate: Many can use the funds to hire organizers, lobbyists or fund litigation.
Volunteer: Your time and talent is valuable!
- Keep the issues alive in media, social media.
Letters to the editor
Social Media Posts
Like, Share, Forward, Sign Petition
Stage public events to increase awareness and get attention of the press
- Hold them accountable.
This is how we win in 2018. Every time you see a bad vote that hurts people, the environment or the economy. Post it. Share it. Many organizations keep score cards. Promote theirs. Use your own.
- Consider Boycotts. Watch the actions of Trump & Congress.
Boycott Companies with Their Ownership Interests
Boycott Donors, Companies that Support them.
(This helped veto anti-LGBT legislation in red states)
- Protests, Rallies, Sit-Ins & Vigils.
Meet others who care about the same issue.
Draw attention to press.
Use as venue to help state demands, requested outcomes.
See Women’s March.
- Solidarity – Come for One, Come for All.
If Trump & GOP single out groups, we can all join that group making it harder to target
e.g. Muslims, Immigrants, Women, BlackLivesMatter
- Shift Strategy for Progress to State & Local Governments.
Use Home rule progressive cities for sanctuary for:
immigrants, choice, workers, environment, campaign finance.
Can do everything not explicitly pre-empted by feds in all other locations.
Civil disobedience by cities, states, counties and school boards.
- Get Ready for 2108 Elections. Improve, Reform, Reinvent Party now. Inclusion.
2 Years of all GOP control will prove why the current GOP doesn’t belong in office.
Help recruit, train and get great candidates for 2018 because public backlash.
- Voter Outreach. Consider lunches, coffee, happy hours, dinners with people who voted for Trump or GOP. Listen, learn, share. Understand where we need to better connect with voters. Stay in touch with people who don’t agree with us. You will be what sways them.
- Register Voters. Go through the training to be able to conduct voter registration drives. https://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/elections/VoterRegDrive/VRDhome.html
- 19. Progressive Investment Strategy. If you have investments, make sure they reflect your Put your money into social responsible companies and pull your money from companies. E.g. http://www.locavesting.com/investing/a-progressive-investors-action-guide-for-the-next-administration/(contact me if you want a specific person I work with…Sandy)
- Commit to Resist Harm to People or the Planet. Can you commit to one action for our Democracy for 5 minutes:
- Add Your Own Ideas to this list – and SHARE.
WHAT YOU CAN DO AS AN ADVOCATE IN THE STATE LEGISLATURE (LINKS ARE FOR COLORADO) by Morgan Carroll
How do I know what bills are pending before the legislature? There is a grid tracking all introduced bills and where they are in the process called a Status Sheet which is updated daily. Go to http://www.leg.state.co.us/ and click on Status.
How do I know when a bill will be heard in hearing or scheduled for a floor vote? There is a calendar for the House and for the Senate which is updated daily during session. Go to http://www.leg.state.co.us/ and click on Calendar or go to: http://www.coloradocapitolwatch.com/
How can I observe or monitor actual legislative proceedings? You can go to the capitol in person. All are welcome. You can listen to audio broadcast by going to http://www.leg.state.co.us/ and clicking on Audio Broadcast. For proceedings on the House floor you can go to http://www.coloradochannel.net/.
When is the best time to weigh in on legislation? The earlier the better. If you can weigh in prior to introduction of a bill that has the best window for impact. Otherwise, try to weigh in prior to committee hearing, if possible. If you miss that window you can weigh in at hearing on the floor or as it heads to the 2nd chamber.
What can I do to impact legislation? You can call, email, write or meet with elected officials, draft letters to the editor or op ed pieces, blog or send information to your e-lists or phone trees to mobilize others to contacted elected officials. You can tell groups and other activists you are affiliated to try to grow a coalition to do the same thing. You can ask legislators to vote yes / no and tell them why and you can shape public opinion by getting education, information out to the press, blogs, or both. You can share research or expertise or prepare a fact sheet to on why to support or oppose a bill.
Who do I contact? It is always a good idea to contact your own legislator who represents you and let them know you live in their district. You can find out who your elected officials are by contacting: http://www.votesmart.org/index.htm. You also want to contact the people on the committee prior to a committee vote and the members of the chamber prior to a floor vote. All contact information for legislators can be found at: http://www.leg.state.co.us. Click on Contact Information.
Tips for maximum impact on legislators: Be brief, be polite, include a few reasons, and how to follow up with you for more information.
What if I want to suggest a new bill / law? You only need to find one legislator willing to introduce your idea as a bill and it can be introduced. The legislative session runs January – May. Given our deadlines it is best to approach a lawmaker by the November prior to the legislative session because we have a limit on the # of bills we can carry.
How do I testify? You have a constitutional right in Colorado to testify. Show up at the designated time and hearing room (see calendar) and sign in. There will be a witness sign-in sheet for every bill. When the Chairperson calls your name come forward, introduce yourself, who, if anyone you represent. Then prepare about 3 minutes of your comments on whether you support or oppose the bill and why. At that time the committee may have questions. Wait until the Chair calls on you by name to answer. (This creates a clear audio record of who is speaking). Then proceed to answer. If you cannot make it to testify in person, you can also prepare written comments, submit them to the Chair and ask that they be included in the record.
Who is lobbying for / against bills in Colorado? You can look up information about who lobbies in Colorado, who they work for, how much they are paid, and which bills they are lobbying by going to: http://www.sos.state.co.us/ and click on Lobbyists.
If you want a pink ‘pussy’ hat like women marchers wore, I am making them too…see my Artfully Stitched page or contact me. $10 plus shipping if applicable.