After elections, many voters are left feeling helpless and discouraged. Or, they're excited about the results and they feel that their work is done. Neither is right; regardless of who has won and whether they reflect your ideologies or not, work can still be done. Representatives are constantly seeking the critique of their voters because it's how they win reelection.
Here are five ways to keep your government officials aware of how you want them to vote well past the polls.
Call or E-mail Your Representative Directly
Yes, you can actually directly contact your representatives, whether in the House, Senate, or gubernatorial offices for your state and district. Send an email or make a phone call to discuss what issues you find to be most pressing, and how you would like your representative to vote regarding them. Although you generally will not speak with that representative, you'll most likely be speaking with an intern who will note what you say and how you lean, then relay that to your representative's office if a trend among voters who call/email emerges. To find who you can get in touch with and how; use this link.
Register and Work For a Political Campaign
The majority of Americans have a tendency to only follow and vote in Presidential elections. Midterms and local elections fall to the wayside, however, they are just as if not more important. The balance of power in the House and Senate can determine whether the current administration's agenda will be followed or blocked. In addition, elections at the most local level can influence your local property, sales etc. taxes, and impact you more directly than national elections do.
Therefore, there is always a campaign or political party that is working towards the next election, and it is easier than ever to get involved. Whether you are Republican, Democrat, or choose not to associate with either, there is a party or organization that needs your help. To begin, here is a link to help you find where you belong: Here's a full list of established political parties.
Attend Rallies and Protests
In the age of Trump, it feels as if there's a rally or protest every weekend, whether that be the Women's March, The March For Science, or the Kavanaugh protests. In our most divisive political time in current history, citizens feel emboldened and inspired to speak out against our administration or stand with it, thus the sudden hike in demonstrations. With many of these gaining national attention, they're an excellent way to find other like-minded voters and have your voice be heard. To find rallies/protests you would like to partake in near you, use this link.
Donate to a Campaign
Like many other Americans, you may not have time to volunteer and give hours of work a week to a campaign. Rather than door-to-door campaigning or making cold calls, it may be easier to donate money. Fundraising is one of the primary goals of campaigns so they can fund ads, travel expenses, and more. Here's how you can donate and ensure your money is used effectively.
Run for Office!
It sounds excessive, but it's not! Many of our most famous and profound politicians began their careers at the local levels or volunteering for their local elections. Running for office doesn't mean you have to run for President. You can make a difference in your town council or even Parent Teacher Association. Get involved and make a difference at the forefront of it all. Don't know where to begin? "Run For Something" is an organization that gives assistance and resources to any qualified person interested in running for office, and "She Should Run" is specifically for women seeking these positions.https://runforsomething.net
Being a member of a democracy is a major responsibility, but that doesn't mean it's difficult to stay politically active. Get in touch with your representatives, rally with your fellow citizens and voters, and don't let your voice end at the ballot box. Continue to exercise your rights as a citizen of this democratic institution, and fight for what you want America to be.