♥ GET INVOLVED ♥
Times have been tough, there is no way around that but with tough times comes opportunity for change. Realizing what needs to be done to make a difference, a chance to stand up + let your voice be heard and be an active part of the solution you are seeking. With the heightened political climate, a pandemic, an awakening for social justice issues + in no uncertain terms a WAKE UP for America it is OUR time to enact the change we want to see. How do we do that? We VOTE!
I often times refrain from getting politically charged on my site or social but I felt strongly that in order for us to all feel heard as a society it’s important to take what is going on in the world seriously and realize we can all be part of the solution. That’s why I wanted to share some of my tips on how to Do Your Part when it comes to driving change through democratic means (we do live in a country where we vote people in to office that make decisions so we need to be active participants in the process from the beginning no matter what the election).
1. REGISTER TO VOTE
If there is one thing you take away from this post, please register to vote. VOTE.GOV is your go to site owned and operated by the US Government where you click the state you live in and follow the instructions to register to vote in your area. The site is simple to navigate and will lead you to the steps to take to Register to vote. It normally brings you to your state voting website which then outlines process for registering to vote, checking on your voter registration + more.
2. PREPARE TO VOTE
Head to your state website, for example I am in California so I go to http://registertovote.ca.gov/
Once there in addition to registering to vote you can see:
- Upcoming Elections (local, county, state etc) http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/ you can then see which you are eligible to vote in based on where you live (every election counts because policy and legislation can start on a local level so even those county elections you think may not matter….in fact DO so be sure to be an active participant and vote when you can)
- Find where + when you will be able to vote for the next available election or if mail in voting is available in your state or county
- Learn about who is running so you can begin your research
3. BE INFORMED
This is one of the most IMPORTANT parts of the voting process if you ask me beside registering to vote + knowing where to go + when…do your research on who you want to vote for.
Think about it, for a local county election you may not see a lot of news or media coverage, you most likely have never heard of the candidates, you may only vote for them based on the political party they are part of BUT do you actually know their past voting record while in public service? Do you know what policies they were for or against? Do you know who their donors are? Do you know why they are running for political office? These are ALL questions you should know answers to BEFORE heading to the ballot box because it empowers you as an informed voter to know who you are truly voting for.
I’m a firm believer that the more you know, the more informed you can be and when it comes to putting people in a public office that are supposed to be there to support + serve you…well I think we take a hard look at who we are nominating and putting in those places.
For example, there are career politicians at a local, state and federal level on both sides of the political spectrum that have been voted in time and time again but may have a voting record that goes against a lot of the new changes you want to see. So while it seems safe to go with a candidate that has been steadfast in winning time after time, how does choosing that person again enact change you want to see if they voted against policies you feel strongly about in the past? This is why research is so important to find politicians previous voting records and also review what legislation they helped put in place.
Here are some helpful links to assist in your research:
4. KNOW THAT YOUR VOTE COUNTS
A lot of people get discouraged if they live in a state that tends to swing a certain way and they feel their vote doesn’t matter. You know what I say? Part of being an American is having the right to vote so use that right proudly and let your voice be heard in EVERY election. No matter how small the election may seem it brings us one step closer to passing legislation that brings change so VOTE.
Another thing to note is your vote is your power, while some want to vote in line with their family or friends etc it’s important that you vote the way you feel strongly about based on policy that is important to YOU! It’s OK to not see eye to eye with your friends, family or others on your beliefs on certain policies, at the end of the day it’s you + your vote, do what’s in your heart + mind.
5. GET INVOLVED
Continue to educate yourself on policies and issues you feel strongly about in addition to voting. Your power doesn’t end at the ballot box, continue to research, learn + participate in causes you feel strongly about so you don’t loose sight of what is important to you. Continue to monitor who you vote for to see if you are in sync with the decisions they make while in office, not thrilled? Contact them. Make your voice heard. Ultimately you then have the chance to vote them out in the next election so make sure you always see what they are up to, even after the election is over.
And as a friendly reminder
Please register to VOTE –> VOTE.GOV