Many of you know that part of what I try to create here at Michelle Dionne Thompson Coaching and Consulting is a space for people to create the communities and society we want to see. This is no easy task.
And it’s really hard when you’re up to your eyeballs with emails, requests from colleagues, requests from your family, and everyone else.
You likely don’t even have time to listen to that request from yourself to eat meals. Rest. Exercise. Y’know, the basics.
And if you’ve dared to peek out, briefly, you’ll see that this past week has been, well, I think the technical term is a shit show. The Senate abdicated its duty to hold the President accountable for breaking the law. And said president is now exacting revenge on his foes.
Including New York State!
And don’t forget that we still don’t know who won the Iowa caucuses.
I couldn’t make this up if I tried.
And this is all really disheartening. How can we make sure that the environment improves? How can we make sure that all eligible voters are able to cast their votes undeterred? How can we ensure that we are allowed to vote in the first place?
Should we give up?
My answer is NO!
Your industries are tied to politics.
If you’re a lawyer, you know that what you can/cannot do for clients completely turns on politics, local, county, state, and federal. Enough said.
If you’re in academia, the impacts may be less clear, but just as important.
If you’re on the tenure track or above, whether you can get grants for research, hire faculty, or research sex or the effects of marijuana depends on who is in government. Want access to government papers? Yep, politics. I could go on.
Are you an adjunct? If the state (federal or state) doesn’t fully fund institutions of higher education, be they private or public, you will remain part-time. Yep, and that sucks. Also, your ability to remain unionized also depends on politics.
Hey, graduate students . . . if you work on grants your advisors have, you need federal and state funding to make the magic happen. And do you want to be able to organize? Yep, POLITICS.
So we actually cannot afford to check out.
We must stay engaged.
So, regardless of what’s happening, do the following:
Find campaigns, be they local, state, or federal that you would like to (1) contribute money to, and/or (2) volunteer for. Every bit of resource helps and if your issue/candidate doesn’t win this time, there are that many more people who are educated about what the issues are and why they matter.
Join organizations that have pre-sorted events you can do. I’m a part of the Indivisible network and I can’t speak highly enough of them. This morning, we wrote and will send postcards to people in a California congressional district to vote in the primaries.
The organizations can also focus on a particular issue (the environment and immigration are two of my favorites, but pick yours!).
You can contact your representatives using Resistbot. YOU CAN TEXT THEM ON YOUR PHONE!
There are also ways that you can text voters and let them know about elections, etc. I have to do some research about this, but I’m going to post on this blog how you can get involved with it once you find out.
And this is all the tip of the iceberg.
So, I ask you to do two things after your read this post. Please sign up for the Resistant Vision thread of my newsletter because that’s where the encouraging political posts go showcasing academics and lawyers who are making a difference.
Secondly, pick one small thing you can do to make a difference. The times are urgent. You know the kind of community and society you want to live in. It will take political participation to bring them to fruition.