A guide to being a vocal citizen
For people wondering how to take action post-election of a racist demagogue (pulled from Twitter and cleaned up):
Make a spreadsheet or a file for your representatives with names, addresses to their offices, phone numbers, and contact forms. Put everyone there. Make a note in your calendar app to check in on issues once a month.
Pay attention to news. If you get angry, upset, or worried, seek support from friends but ALSO shoot these reps an email, too. Be courteous but firm and blunt. It’s a numbers game. Often we remain invisible because we don’t go to events and rallies and can’t be physically present. But we can attach our names to emails, we can write letters, we can be vocal. We don’t have to be invisible.
You can do this with your national reps, state reps, and local reps. If someone reps you anywhere, note them. Open a line and revisit it. It’s hard work and slow. One email at a time. One letter at a time. One call at a time. Emails are easy these days, so splurge every few months on a stamp and send a letter if you can. Put your humanity in front of these people. Flout it. Some won’t care, but others will. Change ONE mind and results can cascade.
Rural areas are bubbles full of bigotry and now it’s newly revealed. But we white people who live here have the clout and power! We can speak up when our reps say terrible things, and do terrible things, and vote terrible ways. We can go “I am disappointed in you.” It’s work, but as we’ve seen the last six months, it’s time for us to do that work. If someone goes “who are your reps” you gotta know. If you don’t know and you’re mad about this election, it’s time to create that file and keep it with you and use it.
The time for social media rants only is over. Or, do those, but maybe pull those threads out into a paragraph and send them to your reps. And don’t ONLY email or contact when things go badly. Also reach out when things go right. Even if they voted AGAINST something. Treat them like you would want to be treated if you were wrong or mistaken. But we’ve gotta reach out and let them know we’re here.
Anyway, I know this is hard work. If you need help collecting your reps, give me a ping via DM and I’ll help you get started.