What’s your burning issue? What are you doing about it? There are lots of opportunities locally and nationally to make your voice heard and be part of making positive change. Scroll down to check out some options.
Note from Bob Lloyd: This article was originally published by the Inlander January 26, 2017. Follow the link below to see the original post. Advice for Advocates is a regular feature by Mariah McKay.
By Mariah McKay
A roar breaks out as the throng takes its first steps onto the icy streets of Spokane. While no laws or elected positions changed after last weekend’s Women’s March, an era of anemic insider-driven politics officially came to an end. If you are one of the many who feel called to take back our democracy, here are six helpful hints to heed along your journey:
FIND YOUR PLACE
You know those universe maps with a tiny arrow pointing to a dot that says “You are here?” That is you in this new mass movement. Learn about the constellations of groups already working on your issues, rather than reinventing the wheel. Don’t know where to start? Try Google or the “three degrees” approach. Ask someone who knows someone who does. Think about your unique abilities and focus on a role that plays to your strengths.
It is possible for two or more things to be true at once. We are so conditioned to think in “either/or” terms, we often miss out on opportunities in between. Just because your neighbor disagrees with you on one issue doesn’t mean they won’t help you on another. Remember to not see people, organizations or institutions as monolithic.
JOY LOVES COMPANY
Some think you aren’t doing enough unless you are exhausted and miserable. This culture of stress is counter-strategic. The change we seek is a marathon and not a sprint; thus, you must sustain yourself for the long haul. Balance organizing hard with celebration and rest. People are attracted to a movement that is fun and joyous!
THINK AND ACT LOCALLY
The specter of national politics has sucked many into a cycle of emotional reactivity. Turn your existential angst into real-world action in your own backyard. Resources for engaging your congressperson, like the Indivisible Guide (indivisibleguide.com), are also relevant at the city, county and state levels. If just a fraction of the energy displayed at the Women’s March were channeled into local arenas, mountains would be on the move.
PUT PEOPLE FIRST
Revolution is the business of radical relationships. Befriend those who are different from you and find ways to celebrate your common humanity. Abandon name-calling and clever insults. Be as specific and respectful with your concerns as you can be. When reaching across a political divide, don’t immediately dive into issues. Be a person first, and you may be surprised by the friendship that will follow.
In the end, all these tips are about getting outside yourself. Ego is the ultimate enemy of an effective mass movement. Enjoy the liberation that comes with knowing you are not the only one!
Mariah McKay is a fourth-generation daughter of Spokane and a community organizer campaigning for racial, social and economic justice. She currently serves as a public health advocate.
Terry Wechsler wants to share this urgent message with you:
If you haven’t been on Twitter lately, there is a climate science storm brewing there that I think you will want to follow.
Scientists across all federal agencies are furious about gag orders. There are now Alt- and Rogue Twitter pages for the Park Service, EPA, NASA, National Weather Service, and more. Administration for most has been turned over to non-government employees for obvious reasons, but the information is coming from employees. On their own time, of course! [Note: I’m not letting a cat out of the bag here. They’re not hiding what they’re doing. On the contrary. They’re taking reasonable precautions, but their motto is #resist.]
A comprehensive list of the Alt/Rogue Twitter pages can be found at https://twitter.com/stollmeyereu/lists/twistance/members. It is maintained by an EU reporter from Belgium (!).
There is a planned March on Washington for Science, with sister marches to be coordinated a la the women’s marches.
They are aiming for March. Their FB page is https://www.facebook.com/marchforscience/
It is time for scientists, science enthusiasts, and concerned citizens to come together to make ourselves heard! This is a public page for discussion about a march on Washington by scientists and science enthusiasts in protest of the policies of the United States Congress and President Donald J. Trump.
Their website is http://www.scientistsmarchonwashington.com/ :
What is the Scientists’ March on Washington
Their Twitter page is @ScienceMarchDC.
Using Twitter, if you don’t already, is very similar to FB. You pick which people/groups/news media you want to follow. What is streaming there is remarkable. The agencies’ rogue employees are talking to each other through their Twitter pages. It’s remarkable and exciting and they are scared to death. They need our support!!!!!
Protester’s sign read stand up! speak up! and these protesters did it this cold Spokane winter day. Some who were lucky made it to inside halls standing and sitting in the warmth and could hear the messages from the Ballroom. Others filled sidewalks for blocks east and west and entertained each other with songs, music, chatter. The Davenport Hotel Coffee and Bar was a hit place to keep warm.
After the March People Rose Up!
Marchers continued on to the Community Building where they shared chili, soup, music, poetry, speakers, a movie, action tables, creative activities for kids and adults, and began networking to take action.