Each day we’re bombarded with increasingly absurd and distressing news, making 2017 feel more like a Salvador Dali painting than another year in history. As understandable as it is to feel hopeless at times, we’re fortunate that there are ways we can speak out.
Research shows a strong link between a legislator's understanding of their district and the citizens they have recently spoken to. In the past few weeks, we have seen phone calls change the minds of our representatives.
One way to stay regularly engaged with the issues your officials are voting on is by signing up for Daily Action. The tool was created by DC writer and mom, Laura Moser, in direct response to the election results. Like many of us, Moser felt “I didn’t know my own country.”
Moser’s hope was to provide an easy way for people to get politically involved, and that’s exactly what she did: All you have to do is text the word DAILY to ACTION (or 228466) and enter your zip code. After that, you’ll receive a text message a day encouraging you to get involved with a current issue. When you call the number in the message, you’ll receive a brief explanation of the issue, and then be connected to the relevant elected official (your state senator or another Congress member, for example). From there, you’ll have the chance to let them know how you feel.
We were so inspired and motivated by Moser’s tool, we wanted her advice on how to stay vigilant during a time when activism is so necessary.
Besides signing up for Daily Action, what are some ways we can stay involved?
I started Daily Action because I thought that if every one of us could do a little more than we’d done before, we could make a huge impact, and we're already seeing that playing out. People all over the country, getting involved for the first time ever. We just have to keep believing that our phone calls and emails are making a difference. We must show up at our elected officials' town halls and ask tough questions and never ever forget that they work for us, not the other way around.
What kind of reality do you fear we are facing for the next four years?
Well, if the last 12 days are any indication, a terrifying one — but I am hoping [Trump] will be out of here well before the next election. The way things are going, I just can't see how he will last out a term. Then again, I never thought he would survive the Republican primary and I certainly didn't see him winning in the general, so I guess my predictions aren't worth that much.
How do we get through to the people who disagree with us?
I'm not sure we can — but, in the case of our elected officials, we can certainly let them know that we're out there, watching their every move and paying close attention to their policy decisions. Maybe some Democrats will feel emboldened to stake out more bold positions than they otherwise would have, and maybe some Republicans will realize that the extremists in the White House do not represent the views of the majority of the American people (or even of the Republican party).
We've been seeing lots of large, organized protests in the past two weeks. Is this the age of protest? How do you feel about that?
The majority of people in this country voted for a different candidate than the one who is now President. Rather than acknowledge that, he has stepped into office as if he has a massive popular mandate. We are not as stupid as he thinks, and I think all the protests we're seeing are a noble effort to speak up for our beliefs and reclaim our values, as we rightly perceive a massive assault on our rights taking place at the very top.
How would your role be different right now if Trump hadn't won the presidency?
I would never have started this organization. I would've carried on with my article-writing and kid-raising — but now far too much hangs in the balance for me — for any of us — to sit on the sidelines.
Top photo via Daily Action
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Marissa is an NYC-based writer who loves feminism, doughnuts, and being outside. She's not a huge fan of writing personal bios, but she does love writing pretty much anything else. Read more of her work at marissadubecky.com.