What To Do Now That Midterms Are Over
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Politics and Activism

The Midterms Are Over, Now What?

Many think that after their vote is cast for the midterms they have nothing to worry about, but little do they know that the work is just getting started.

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The Midterms Are Over, Now What?

Whether you're pleased, upset, or a mixture of both, with the results of the 2018 midterm elections, it's important to realize that the work doesn't stop here. Our ballots have been cast and counted, winners declared, but that doesn't mean we stop making our voices heard. After we all take a minute to either to celebrate or mourn, then it's right back to the drawing board.

We have to keep pushing, hard, for what we believe in. There are families still separated, voter rights still being suppressed, and a man whose rhetoric is the epitome of division is still holding our nations highest office. Decisions are still being made by the Republican-controlled Senate that have the potential to destroy the rights and livelihoods of several minority groups in our country.

Women, our reproductive rights are still at risk.

There are mothers and children who still have yet to be reunited after months of separation.

Families fleeing violence are still being denied their legal right to seek asylum within our country's borders.

The current administration is still threatening to try and erase the very existence of the transgender community.

There are still countless government officials taking obscene amounts of money from the NRA, and there are still kids being shot in their schools by those with unbelievably easy access to firearms. There are still so many pieces of common sense gun legislation that have been turned down by our congress.

In the immediate aftermath of this election, a lot of these issues are unlikely to change. Which means that the intensity at which we advocate for these issues, for these human beings, can't change either.

Keep calling, emailing and writing your representatives and leaders. Whether its on a local, state or national level, let them know you're still here and still fighting for the issues that matter to you. If you live in a district/state/area where you have newly elected representatives, contact them too. Let them know your priorities and what you expect from them as their constituent.

Keep encouraging your friends to register to vote. Drag them to rallies, speeches, and demonstrations. Do your research. Educate yourself on newly passed policies. When that inevitable political conversation happens at Thanksgiving or Christmas, make sure your relatives don't immediately count you out because you're young. Blow them away with your passion and knowledge of the things and people that you care about.

Keep promoting civility and inclusivity in your communities, schools, and families.

This year’s midterm elections made history, and as a young voter (if you were old enough to), you played a part. Your vote counted. It mattered. And what you do now that the election has passed matters too.

While now isn't the time to back down, it's also important to acknowledge the barriers broken and victories accomplished in this years election. The ballot this year was one of the most diverse in history. According to the New York Times, there were 964 candidates on the ballot for the House of Representatives. Of those 964, 216 were black, Latino, Asian, Native American, or multiracial. 272 were women. 26 identified as part of the LGBTQ community.

40 women were elected to Congress, and 19 of them were women of color.

Sharice Davids became the first Native American woman elected to Congress, and the first openly LGBTQ U.S. Congress member from the state of Kansas.

Jared Polis was elected in Colorado and made history as the first openly gay male Governor.

Ayanna Pressley became the first black woman elected to the House from Massachusetts.

Ilhan Omar became the first Muslim woman and first Somali-American woman in Congress.

This election was a huge leap forward for women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community, and voter turnout was historically high. We've made significant strides in terms of representation this year. But as long as we have President Donald Trump proposing outrageously discriminatory policies, and a Congress full of senators who back him, we still have a long, long way to go.

So keep pushing, keep using your voice. Speak up for the things that matter to you. Don't relax now that the midterms are over, instead gear up for yet another long fight that's ahead: The 2020 election.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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