I plan on letting these three words set the stage for my 2020:
When I talk about engagement here, I really do mean political engagement. Politically, 2020 is looking to be the most important in my adult life. We need everybody on board here. The GOP at this point is basically an organized crime syndicate and they are doing everything they can to steal another election. We need to do everything in our power to make sure that doesn’t happen. How can we make sure it doesn’t happen?
WE NEED TO VOTE IN NUMBERS TOO LARGE TO MANIPULATE!
This means we need you! We need you to get out the vote. We need you to register new voters. Talk to people and get them to check their registration because the GOP is purging voters! Educate people about why it’s important to vote in the smaller elections, because that’s where a lot of these rules come from, especially the Secretary of State.
One of the easiest ways to get started in this, is writing postcards. There a links to get you started below.
I pledge to do what I can to get out the vote and engage other voters. I will also encourage my friends to get involved as well. The two main ways I will be doing this are:
- Participating in my Democracy Club (it’s like a book club, but for democracy!) I’ll be writing more about this later, and to let you know how you can start your very own Democracy Club!
- Hosting bi-weekly Postcard Parties. I’ve put it on my calendar. I am starting on Wednesday 1/15, then will go every other week until the election. As it gets closer to the election, I may expand it into weekly. I am starting it out at home, but may move it to a public spot later on. If you are in SE Portland, OR and you want to join me, send me a message!
Things you can do!
Will you commit to doing something this year? The following is a list of resources put together by Ali King of Nasty Women Get Shit Done to help you get started.
Vote Forward: Vote Forward is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit. Their mission is to empower grassroots volunteers to help register voters from under-represented demographics and encourage them to vote.Sending a Vote Forward letter is one of the easiest things you can do to increase turnout. It takes two minutes and one stamp, and meaningfully increases the odds that the recipient will vote. A concrete action you can take, no matter where you live, to get unlikely-to-vote fellow citizens to the polls. Sign up here: https://votefwd.org/
Postcards to Wisconsin: They are currently working to send 500,000 handwritten postcards to voters ahead of the April 7th Wisconsin primary. Voters will be more likely to vote in the primary AND the general election in November. They will send you postcards, addresses, and instructions. Just recruit some friends, stamps, and get writing. Sign up here: https://www.postcards2wi.com/
Postcards to Voters: Postcards to Voters are friendly, handwritten reminders from volunteers to targeted voters giving Democrats a winning edge in close, key races coast to coast. Sign up here: https://postcardstovoters.org/
Swing Left: Swing Left helps you find the most impactful things you can do to help Democrats win the most important elections. Enter your zip code to find volunteer actions near you: https://swingleft.org/take-action?s=u
Indivisible: Indivisible is a movement of thousands of group leaders and more than a million members taking regular, iterative, and increasingly complex actions to resist the GOPs agenda, elect local champions, and fight for progressive policies. Find out what they are working on here: https://indivisible.org/campaigns
I tend to go with the flow… I find it easier and sometimes less stressful than to be in the moment and aware of what I am doing. There are three main places in my life where this can become an issue: eating, online shopping, and Facebooking. A friend of mine gifted me a book called Chasing Cupcakes, which is about how to get your life under control, both health wise and financially. My first goal is to read it!
Over two years ago, I started following a ketogenic diet and fasting. I lost 95 lbs that first year. Then I gained and lost the same 10 pounds for about six months until I really went off the rails and put back on almost 70 in under six months. This happened because I started eating carbs again. With a carb heavy diet, I never felt satisfied, so I would just eat more and more. I also started a new job this past year, which, although it is an awesome job, brings it’s own stress. I used food to sooth my anxiety.
A month ago, I hurt by back, and that was the final straw to get me back on track. I’ve lost about 10 lbs already and feel motivated to stay on track. The good thing is, that once I stop eating sugar and starch, I stop craving it! This year will be the year I get my eating under control. I am also turning 50 in 2020! My mantra is: fit by 50!
Amazon is my guilty pleasure. I literally feel guilt, because I have an issue with one company monopolizing so much and I would much rather buy from local smaller merchants. But it is so damn convenient.
Not only that, but I have racked up more credit card debt this past year than I am comfortable with. It’s not totally out of control, but has the potential to get there. My plan is to not allow myself any spur of the moment purchases. If I really want something, I will try to find it elsewhere, and if I can’t only then I will buy it. It’s just about being mindful with my purchases. One of my plans this upcoming weekend is to work out a budget for myself as well and limit the amount I can spend on frivolous things.
Facebook as a company just keeps becoming more and more problematic: from what happened with Cambridge Analytica, to Russian bots and misinformation, to Zuckerberg’s stance on allowing politicians to lie in their ads. I would love to get rid of Facebook altogether. However, beyond the fact that I like seeing what’s going on in the lives of my friend’s that are scattered across the globe, there are two reasons I don’t think deleting is the answer: 1. Everyone is on it, and it seems to be one of the easier ways to engage people in events and 2. If all the progressives leave, then it will just end up an even bigger propaganda machine than it already is.
Facebook is problematic, but also addicting. I find myself scrolling through it on my phone whenever I have downtime. On bad news days, it can be really upsetting. And it’s also a time suck.
To mitigate Facebook’s ability to make money off me and to know too much about me, as well as my own addictive tendencies, I am giving myself some rules on how I will engage on Facebook:
- I will no longer access it from my phone and will only access it from a browser that has both AdBlocker and Privacy Badger installed. (This isn’t perfect, but will help with some of the ads and trackers that Facebook has.)
- I pledge to only repost or share articles that have been vetted and have references. If I post memes, it will be about dogs, or coffee, or food, but definitely not about politics.
- I also pledge to call out fake news if I see it.
- I pledge to keep my posts positive. Even if it’s bad news, I will include some way to get engaged or to help out. Honestly, right now I think this is about the democratic candidates more than anything. I have my favorite (Warren), but I will not post anything negative about anyone else.
This section will be shorter than the others, because it’s pretty clear. It’s always been really hard for me to say no. I tend to get myself overextended and stressed out because of it. This is something I have already been working on, but I think this year it’s going to be so important for my own piece of mind, while going through everything else.
I am going to need time for self care, which for me, means alone time. Probably in my garden. I apologize in advance if you invite me somewhere and I don’t make it. Not that I haven’t been doing this, but I always feel guilty about it. My pledge to myself is not to feel guilty if I have to say no. This also means that if you need help, I will do my best to help you, but I will be mindful about my own state of mind, and may need to back out from that as well.
I hope you will still keep inviting me to things, even if I do say no most of the time, because at some point, I will want to hang out.
That’s it for me! I am scared, but somewhat hopeful for 2020. I think I needed to do this because I need to go in with both eyes open. What are your plans for 2020? And I hope they include political engagement!