The way to stop being frustrated by politics? Get involved! (And before you stop reading because you have no spare time, please know that there are small ways to get involved that don’t take a lot of time!)
Think about a sports game. It can be frustrating watching a game when your team is losing. But when you are in the game, you can be affecting the outcome and at least know you did your best even if you don’t win. It is the same with politics! So, get on the field of play and use your energy, resources, and your right to contribute to our government. It won’t just make you feel better, it will make your community and country a better place!
Whether you are on the right, the left, in the center, or out in left field, you CAN make a difference in the world. “Somebody” is already making a difference. Why not join in?
If you don’t like the way things are going, stop shouting at the TV and do something! Here’s how:
How to Get Involved with Politics and Make a Difference
Small Time Commitment
- Put up a lawn sign for the candidate or issue you support.
- Contribute funds to a campaign.
- Send a letter to your congressman, senator, governor, president that states how you feel. Find your representatives at Project Vote.
- Spread the word to your network of friends and family and encourage them to do something even if it is small. (You could pass along the link to this article along with ideas of how to make a difference.)
- Hold up signs on voting day.
Medium Time Commitment
- Spend a couple hours working at a phone bank in support of your candidate.
- Collect signatures on a letter for your elected officials on a subject you care about.
- Call or schedule a meeting with your representative.
- Volunteer in your community doing things to help others or help with issues that matter to you.
- Distribute flyers that educate others citizens on the facts of your issue or candidate or even opposing candidate (such as voting records).
- Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper stating your position on the issues and candidates. Be solution focused.
- Start a blog and write about your thoughts and opinions. Build an audience slowly over time and then use your influence to encourage others to take action.
Larger Time Commitment
- Create a TV show for free using local access TV resources.
- Organize a group of voters around a particular issue or candidate. Invite your representative or candidate to a meeting.
- Attend a legislative hearing.
- Organize or contribute your time to a political campaign.
- Organize or contribute your time to a volunteer group that helps your community in some way.
- Organize a demonstration, march, or rally.
Democracy is Only as Strong as its Participants
My personal feeling is that we citizens need to do a whole lot more participating and volunteering, and do a whole lot less complaining. Complaining has its place. When we are dissatisfied, we need to talk about it. But then we need to make some plans, and then take some action on getting things done, just like we do in our own personal life.
How will all this help YOUR life? At the very least, hopefully it will help you be less frustrated with government. When you get involved you will understand that change takes time, patience, and perseverance. At its best hopefully you will be improving your community and nation which will benefit you in the long run. And lastly, hopefully your actions will inspire others to do the same, creating a snowball effect of improvements for our world!
Citizen Lobbying Kit. This is a very complete list of things you can do and how to do them well. This is from a conservative group, but the ideas here can be used by anyone with any political affiliation.
Lobbying 101. From the Humane Society, but again the ideas here can be used by anyone advocating for any issue.
Citizens Impact as Grassroots Lobbyists. Interesting article on how important ordinary citizen lobbying is!
Communicating Your Opinions
Tell President Obama what you want to see in 2010!
Find all your government representatives. Just type in your zip code.
Organizations that help citizens organize to make their voices heard:
Take Action Today!
Will all your frustrations go away by participating? No, but some of them will when you see your efforts making a difference.
Do it with your kids. It will teach them many great lessons about service, perseverance, and about how our government works.
Do it with your friends and family. Make it a social activity. It’s better than shopping!
Be a part of the solution!
“Be the change you want to see in the world!”- Gandhi
Please share what you have done or plan to do and how it made you feel!
All comments big and small are very welcomed!