Politics are a big deal these days, and whether you lean right or left, you’re probably itching to make your voice heard. Here are just a few ways to put yourself out there and create change in your community!
1. Know Your Local Politicians
Do you live in Idaho? Then you should know Senator Mike Crapo. Will you be voting in Alabama’s next election? Then you should be familiar with all of your city, county and state-level representatives. Whether you’re ticking off ballots for Mike Crapo or someone else entirely, you won’t get anywhere without a solid foundation of knowledge.
2. Understand the Issues
Once you know the players, it’s time to learn the game. What are the most pressing issues to you as an individual? Do you really care about the environment? Are you passionate about social justice? Does your heart break at the country’s domestic tax policy? There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to what ignites your passion for politics; you just have to know what these things are before you can take action on them.
3. Get on Social Media
Social media is a great tool for the politically active. Not only can it help you raise awareness for your favorite causes, but it will also keep you in the loop in regards to breaking news and upcoming rallies. You’ll be one of the first people to know when something important happens. If you want to stay on the cutting edge of the politics in your area, there’s really nowhere better than Twitter.
4. Stay Informed
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you only need to read about something once. Especially if it’s a fresh story or evolving issue, it’s important to stay on top of developments that might affect both your opinion and the opinions of other people in your political party. Even if you don’t agree with their changing viewpoint, you should seek to understand where they’re coming from and how they arrived at their new conclusion. This is the only real way to meet in the middle.
5. Attend Local Meetings
There are probably dozens of meetings happening in your city this month. From town hall meetings to school board meetings, there are always people who are willing to gather and talk about the issues. You just have to find these groups and start making your presence known in them. Once you become a fixture in, say, city council meetings, the others will grow to respect you as a voice in the community.
6. Pound the Pavement
Last but certainly not least, if you’re dying to do something productive for your chosen cause or political leader, see if you can get involved with their community outreach program. Especially if it’s an election year, they’ll be more than happy to send you out on the streets with a roll of campaign stickers. This is the kind of grassroots volunteerism that can really make a difference on election day.
These are just six tips for becoming more politically active. Remember, it doesn’t matter if you’re a proud conservative or a hard-charging liberal. The first step of forming any political identity is to figure out your beliefs and how you’d like to act on them. Good luck!
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