The Only Antidote to Trump-related Anxiety: Activism
Have you seen those photos coming out of town halls with members of Congress recently? I know every time I see one, I am blown away by the sheer number of attendees and their obvious passion – and with that comes a sense of hope.
See, at the beginning of 2017, I didn’t have a lot of hope. Things in the US looked pretty bleak, with Donald Trump lining up his cabinet of anti-environmental, anti-civil liberties, swamp-dwelling cronies. I was really scared. Terrified, even. And I know a lot of other folks felt the same way.
And then people across the country started swarming town hall meetings with their Senators and Representatives. And it felt like everything was starting to change. Why? Because now I know that we really are all in this together.
So if you want to feel that same sense of hope and empowerment, I’ve got some great news for you: you can be that person demanding a town hall meeting and calling your Senator out on their crap.
Here’s how you do it:
1. Start by writing a Care2 petition.
Demand that your Senator face their constituents in person. After all, you pay their bills and keep them in office, so it is their fundamental duty to listen to you. See some amazing examples of real town hall-related Care2 petitions here, here and here to get yours started!
2. Get people to sign your petition.
We’ve got plenty of resources to help you get started here – check out our blog post on how to use Facebook to get signatures, or our Activist University webinars on promoting your petition.
3. Organize a petition delivery. This is your moment to show your Senator just how many people want to have that town hall meeting. Bring a printed out copy of your petition and all your signatures and deliver them to your Senator’s local office. Even better, make signs and hold a rally outside first. Want more petition delivery tips? Check out our post here!
4. Follow up, follow up, follow up until you get a town hall.
Sometimes a Senator will see how many people have signed your petition and realize they need to schedule a town hall ASAP. Other times… not so much. Some time-tested methods to keep up the pressure include: planning weekly protests outside your senator’s office, holding “call-in days” where constituents bug each of the Senator’s offices with calls and voicemails, plastering the area around your Senator’s office with “Missing” flyers – like these fabulous ones that Care2 activist Karisa created – and meeting your Senator at the airport when they return home.
5. Find out when your Senator will be home.
Luckily, the Senate publishes calendars showing when “recess” dates are. Those are times when your Senator will be back in town, visiting family and voters, so this is when your Senator is most likely to hold a town hall. Any protests, petition deliveries, or meetings with staff asking for a town hall meeting should be scheduled with these recess dates in mind. The next Senate recess dates are:
- February 20-24
- March 16-17
- April 10-21
Photo Credit: Rick Bowmer/AP