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Five Activism Actions for Busy People and Introverts

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Cort VanOstran for Congress

Right now, there is a lot of pressure on individual citizens to do everything we can to help stop the tide of fascism and far-right extremism that is gripping our country. This constant barrage of bad news probably keeps you up at night, causes the breaking out of cold sweats and other generalized anxiety and panic, right? Congratulations. You’re human.

I realize that while a lot of us have the time to be in the streets, many of you don’t. Many of us are parents, employed, working extra jobs, and are doing everything we can just to keep up with the day’s tsunami of bad news. If you’re an introvert: the call from your fellow community members to canvas and phone bank probably sounds like a circle in hell, right? (Speaking to strangers either on the phone or in person are two things that introverts hate more than, well, almost anything.)

For the busy and the socially anxious, I put together this list of five things that even the most desperately busy, extremely introverted, and just generally “I can’t” people CAN do to elect progressive and moderate candidates to congress and keep our democracy in tact.

I promise that if you do even one of these things: you’ll be making a huge difference. You may even find out more ways you can help from the comfort of your own smartphone.*

*I’m based in St. Louis, so I’m making asks based on areas specific to my region. If you are out of town or out of state and need help, please post in the comments below and we’ll use our resources to point you in the right direction. I promise we will do that.

ONE: Donate to Grassroots Candidates for the House of Representatives

Grassroots and progressive candidates are desperate for your money, and every little bit helps. No, seriously. Your $5, $10, $15 one-time donation helps pay for crucial materials (yard signs, mailers, postage) and could help push them over the top to buy ad time on local television and social media.

St. Louis/Missouri Candidates

Donate to Cort VanOstran who is running in Missouri’s Second District for the House of Representatives. He isn’t taking any corporate donors and doesn’t have a PAC. He is easily one of the most qualified Congressional candidates running in the country, let alone the our county. His opponent hasn’t held a single town hall since she’s been in office and essentially hides from her constituents (unless they’re giving her money). Cort needs every single dollar you can spare. Those smaller donations really help his campaign, especially because as of now: he’s gaining on Ann Wagner (the incumbent).

DONATE TO CORT HERE

TWO: Write Postcards

Everyone has enough time to write 20 or so postcards to get registered democrats who don’t normally vote in midterms to show up in November. Somewhere in your community is someone who can hook you up with postcards, so all you need is a pen. If you ask nicely, they’ll probably have those available, too.

St. Louis/Missouri Postcard Info

Indivisible St. Louis has partnered with the 100K Stronger Missouri project to get those registered Democrats to the polls. They have postcards bundled and ready for you to pick up and address at home. The postcards need to be mailed by 10/23 so pick up postcards today. If you can’t make it, message the 100K Facebook group (link above) and they’ll tell you when and where they meet for postcard events or coordinate with you.

GOTV Postcard Information:

For info about where and when to pick up postcards, please email Indivisible St. Louis at: [email protected].

Postcard Writing Dates/Locations

St. Ann

When: Sundays 1–4pm, Thursdays 6:30pm-8:30pm

Where: 10124 St. Charles Rock Rd., St. Ann, MO 63074

Webster Groves*

When: Mondays 6:30–8:30

Where: Webster Groves Public Library Meeting Room, side entrance), 301 E. Lockwood Ave., Webster Groves, MO 63119

*Last postcard writing date is 10/22 in Webster Groves.

THREE: Donate to the ACLU

The ACLU is keeping the Trump Administration busy by blocking his executive orders and extreme proclamations with experienced and knowledgeable legal teams all over the country. They are committed to upholding the rule of law for everyone (even organizations many of us don’t like because, hey, THE CONSTITUTION) and they are one of the only checks we have right now to ensure that rule of law is respected and followed.

ACLU DONATION LINK

FOUR: Support a Newspaper or Media Organization

One of the greatest living experts on the rise of authoritarian regimes is Timothy Snyder, author of On Tyranny. His informed critique of today’s political climate will not give you a lot of comfort, although he will give you plenty of insight into why now, and not later, is the time to do something, anything. In this video, he specifically mentions that one way to fight the rise of fascism is to lend your support to a news organization and ensure that credible media survives. News orgs also need enough capital to pay legal teams to protect their journalists when they’re arrested for covering a protest (yes, that happened in St. Louis).

Outside of your local paper, my suggestions are below:

Subscribe to The Guardian

Subscribe to The Washington Post

Support ProPublica

Donate to Freedom of the Press Foundation

Support Public Radio

FIVE: Donate to Local and State Candidates and Causes

When it comes to politics, we tend to focus on national races. There’s a good reason for that. If you get most of your news from television, the 24-hour news channels and national broadcasts are only going to do deep dives into national issues and candidates running for U.S. Congress.

The truth is that your local and state elections are vitally important, and just as important as who represents you in the United States Senate and the House of Representatives. If you’re worried about the recent appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court (as you should be) remember that it’s state legislators and state ballot initiatives that send many of those more controversial cases to the nation’s highest court.

One of the only ways to stop awful laws from going to that court is to control who represents you in state government. If you live in a swing state, there’s probably no better place for your eyeballs, or your wallets, right now that those state candidates.

St. Louis/Missouri Candidates Who Need Your Support

Missouri is now being governed by a Republican supermajority. Our elected governor resigned in disgrace, and our current governor cut funding to Planned Parenthood. The state only has one functioning abortion clinic. The Missouri state congress has cut funding to seniors, education, and passed a particularly noxious law that bars ways employees can sue former employers for any type of discrimination.

The situation here is dire and we need some hard-working representatives who will help defend regular Missourians from the dark money that’s been pulling resources from working families, seniors, and children.

Right now, in this midterm election, we are very fortunate to have some remarkable candidates running for the Missouri House. The Missouri House Victory Committee (MOHVC) page highlights a lot of these candidates, but my personal ask is that you support Kevin Fitzgerald for Missouri’s 89th. Also, if you donate to the MOHVC, your funds will be spread out to these house candidates who are doing the almost thankless job of tirelessly campaigning to help save the state from financial ruin.

Donate to Kevin Fitzgerald

Donate to the Missouri House Victory Committee

LASTLY AND OBVIOUSLY: VOTE!!!!

Progressives and independents have a terrible turnout record when it comes to midterm elections. Find your local polling place now. Start looking at local and state issues now. Start asking questions now so when Tuesday, November 6, 2018 arrives: you’re ready.

Need more help? Have questions? Post below and I’ll do everything I can to get you the information you need to support democracy without leaving the house. Except, of course, for voting if you have to show up in person because YOU’RE TOTALLY DOING THAT, RIGHT???

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