The elections are over. Here’s how to continue your role in democracy

So you cast your ballot and participated in the democratic process, now what? There are so many more ways to remain involved in the democratic process beyond just voting. Today we share some ideas for contributing to collective civic good any time, not just during election season. 

  1. Reach out to your elected officials. Electing a representative is just the beginning. You can contact your local, state, and federal officials about the issues that matter to you by phone, email, letter, or even by attending their office hours. 
  2. Encourage voter registration. Early estimates show that the 2020 voter turnout rates were the highest since 1900, but still, only about two-thirds of the population cast a ballot. Encourage friends and family to register to vote so they can have their voices heard in future elections. 
  3. Engage in civic dialogue. Our political climate is feeling increasingly polarized, but engaging in meaningful conversations with friends, family, and neighbors helps bridge this sense of divide. Get out and talk to those in your community. 
  4. Join a community organization. Local organizations support and represent the community. Find one that represents your values and engage to meet and collaborate with new people and take meaningful action. 
  5. Join your local community board. Getting involved with a community board is a great way to better understand local government and decision making. Join one to help assess your community’s needs and address structural inequalities. 
  6. Attend a protest. Protests are a direct channel for peaceful activism. It is also a medium for showing support and solidarity with marginalized groups. 
  7. Volunteer. This is one of the best ways to have a direct impact on your local community. Get out and give your time and effort to a valuable cause. Especially during the pandemic, many organizations are looking for additional support. 
  8. Teach a course. This can be something as simple as hosting a virtual cooking class for your friends or even starting a book club. If you have a special skill, spread that knowledge!
  9. Take a class. Being an active lifelong learner keeps our minds flexible and opens our eyes to new perspectives. Take a class on anything new that interests and challenges you. 
  10. Learn a new language. In an increasingly globalized world, lingual knowledge is incredibly valuable for communicating with those around us. Learning a new language also allows us to expand our cultural understanding of different countries. Consider online learning courses or apps to pick up new language skills in no time.
  11. Become a mentor. We all have someone in our lives that helped shape who we are today. This can be something official like signing up through a local mentorship organization or something as informal as chatting with a high school student about their aspirations and your experiences. 
  12. Become a court navigator or special advocate. Navigating the legal system isn’t easy, especially for those who can’t afford a lawyer. As a court navigator or advocate, you can offer moral support and help defendants understand legal proceedings and fill out documents. 
  13. Engage with incarcerated people. Writing letters to incarcerated individuals or donating to prison book programs helps provide opportunities for engagement for those in prison. Many prisons have no learning materials available but will allow book deliveries. Organizations like the Prison Book Program are a great place to start. 

Solution News Source

The elections are over. Here’s how to continue your role in democracy

So you cast your ballot and participated in the democratic process, now what? There are so many more ways to remain involved in the democratic process beyond just voting. Today we share some ideas for contributing to collective civic good any time, not just during election season. 

  1. Reach out to your elected officials. Electing a representative is just the beginning. You can contact your local, state, and federal officials about the issues that matter to you by phone, email, letter, or even by attending their office hours. 
  2. Encourage voter registration. Early estimates show that the 2020 voter turnout rates were the highest since 1900, but still, only about two-thirds of the population cast a ballot. Encourage friends and family to register to vote so they can have their voices heard in future elections. 
  3. Engage in civic dialogue. Our political climate is feeling increasingly polarized, but engaging in meaningful conversations with friends, family, and neighbors helps bridge this sense of divide. Get out and talk to those in your community. 
  4. Join a community organization. Local organizations support and represent the community. Find one that represents your values and engage to meet and collaborate with new people and take meaningful action. 
  5. Join your local community board. Getting involved with a community board is a great way to better understand local government and decision making. Join one to help assess your community’s needs and address structural inequalities. 
  6. Attend a protest. Protests are a direct channel for peaceful activism. It is also a medium for showing support and solidarity with marginalized groups. 
  7. Volunteer. This is one of the best ways to have a direct impact on your local community. Get out and give your time and effort to a valuable cause. Especially during the pandemic, many organizations are looking for additional support. 
  8. Teach a course. This can be something as simple as hosting a virtual cooking class for your friends or even starting a book club. If you have a special skill, spread that knowledge!
  9. Take a class. Being an active lifelong learner keeps our minds flexible and opens our eyes to new perspectives. Take a class on anything new that interests and challenges you. 
  10. Learn a new language. In an increasingly globalized world, lingual knowledge is incredibly valuable for communicating with those around us. Learning a new language also allows us to expand our cultural understanding of different countries. Consider online learning courses or apps to pick up new language skills in no time.
  11. Become a mentor. We all have someone in our lives that helped shape who we are today. This can be something official like signing up through a local mentorship organization or something as informal as chatting with a high school student about their aspirations and your experiences. 
  12. Become a court navigator or special advocate. Navigating the legal system isn’t easy, especially for those who can’t afford a lawyer. As a court navigator or advocate, you can offer moral support and help defendants understand legal proceedings and fill out documents. 
  13. Engage with incarcerated people. Writing letters to incarcerated individuals or donating to prison book programs helps provide opportunities for engagement for those in prison. Many prisons have no learning materials available but will allow book deliveries. Organizations like the Prison Book Program are a great place to start. 

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