This is just a short list of some ideas of things that we all can do to combat hate and discrimination within our communities. These are only suggestions and I encourage everyone to find their own personal ways of creating a brighter future in these uncertain times.
- Contact your local representatives. Tell them that you support gay marriage and don’t want to see any LGBTQ rights revoked. Tell them that you refuse to watch your neighbours get deported or registered based on their race. Cities and states can stand up to the Federal Government.
California Senator Diane Feinstein’s contact page
California Senator Barbara Boxer’s contact page
California Governor Edmund Brown Jr. contact page
San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee’s contact page
All this information is only a Google search away and even though writing a letter may seem like a small action, making your voice heard is what democracy is all about.
- Sign petitions. Again, the voice of the people is important. Stay up to date with current petitions going around and sign the ones you care about! It takes less than 5 minutes. Here is a website that features many petitions for an array of different causes.
- If you have not heard about the crisis at Standing Rock, North Dakota then now is the time. Innocent civilians are being targeted by armed police forces for peacefully protesting. Protesters fight to guarantee their clean water supply which is at risk by the construction of a new oil pipeline. The North Dakota Oil Pipeline threatens acres of wildlife, clean water, and sacred Sioux Indian burial land. This protest has been going on for months and these people need our help and support. Donate here to help them get supplies to last through the colder months. You can also donate to support their legal fund or to help them afford medical supplies. Sign the petition to protest the pipeline construction. They need more media attention, please share videos and articles to keep the public eye on this travesty. With Donald Trump as the President Elect they will be facing an even harder fight in the weeks and months to come. #standwithstandingrock
- Educate yourself about the electoral process in the U.S. The Electoral College is an out of date system and many people believe it should be abolished. It is the reason Trump could be elected without winning the overall popular vote. Read about it here. Sign the petition to end it here.
- Be in the know about local efforts within your town/city. For instance in New York City there was an, “I’ll ride with you”, effort started whereby people could volunteer to commute with anyone who felt at risk of abuse. Check out the sign up form to get a better idea of what it’s all about (note that this is only for New Yorkers). You could even start a similar movement in your community.
- Educate yourself about how to be a proactive bystander. If you do witness homophobic/islamophobic/any kind of racial harassment there are good ways and bad ways to react. Starting a fight is not constructive and often only gives the abuser what they were looking for. Read this insightful comic about how to be a proactive bystander.
- Finally, go to a protest! Get out there in your community. Find a peaceful protest and participate. Meet like minded people and share ideas. Show your support in person, find your message and share it with the world.
These are just some ways to get involved with the political process. There are many more. For example, Alan is hoping to get in touch with some former members of city council and see what he can learn from them (I am very proud of him). Do not sit at home despairing the future, reading articles about the end of the world. Get up, go out and do something constructive. There are people you can help in your town, city and state, you don’t need to be the President to make a difference.