Baby Steps Into Political Engagement
Like so many others, I was devastated by the results of the 2016 Presidential election and have been motivated to be more politically engaged in its aftermath. I floundered for a while, but now that the new administration has been in place for almost a month, I have been compelled to act.
I have always been interested in politics and kept myself well-informed, but my "activism" has been limited to occasional social media posts and voting. I have vowed to change that. Today, I am sharing some tools and resources that are helping me take the baby-steps toward engagement.
This awesome website lets you pick issues that are important to you, then gives you the numbers to call your own elected officials and provides you with a script to help you get started. I have read several articles that say that phone calls are one of the most effective ways to reach elected officials, so I have been trying to do this several times a week. I was really apprehensive at first, but it hasn't been too bad, and the more I do it, the easier it gets. I have even put my senators and representatives in my cell phone so I can make phone calls more easily.
I've talked about this before, but it has been a great way to have small, targeted actions sent to my inbox regularly.
Subscribe to media outlets. Support quality media.
I have taken time to identify a few publications that I want to support and subscribed to their content in print. So far, I have subscribed to The Atlantic, Vanity Fair, Texas Monthly, and Teen Vogue. This may seem like a list light on the politics, but I subscribed to each of these for a specific reason.
I love The Atlantic's writing and reporting, so that was an easy choice. I read them online already, but having the articles in my hand encourages me to read things I wouldn't choose to click on otherwise. Their long-form reporting and writing helps me to delve deeper into issues, and expands my attention span for consuming written content.
Vanity Fair offered a great deal when they were capitalizing on their "anti-Trump" publicity, and I signed up. I enjoy their stories, and feel like it rounds out my news sources with a bit more popular entertainment.
My husband and I gifted our wedding guests with Texas Monthly subscriptions and so we have one for ourselves now, too. It has been a valuable source of local and state-wide news and feel good about supporting a quality publication in our own state.
Teen Vogue is my most recent addition, and I have been loving it. I haven't received anything in print yet, but have devoured the online version of their December issue. Teen Vogue has written some excellent pieces in the last few months about politics, Trump, and the intersection of popular entertainment and political activism. I want to support the smart, thoughtful content they are offering teen girls. And as a youth minister, this is a great opportunity to read a bit more into their world. Their analysis of Lady Gaga's Superbowl halftime show was stellar.
What have you been doing to be more politically engaged?