Politics is all of our lives, all the time.
There’s a lot of anger, especially among women. We’ve seen that coming to a head with #MeToo, Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination, and even immigration. That’s where I find my sense of hope — knowing people are seeing what’s happening and want to take action and tell their stories. And just because things don’t always turn out how you want them to doesn’t mean they don’t open a space for change in the future.
Seeing the reaction people had to Donald Trump winning the 2016 election and watching people realize they had to do something for things to change made me hopeful in our society’s ability to recognize when there’s work to be done.
The election wasn’t the foundation for my post-graduate career but confirmed that there was work to do.
I interned at the National Organization of Women (NOW) for two years of college and I currently volunteer with the Broad Room — a teaching space for young women in New York to fight against the right wing agenda. We offer trainings on phone banks, how to call your representatives, canvassing, etc. It’s for everyone, for people who think that politics isn’t for them.
It’s easy to feel that politics is opaque and not a space for us — most of our representatives in Congress are millionaires. But I would encourage people to think about it on a more granular level, about all the things you do on a day-to-day basis and how they’re informed by decisions of people representing you.
Everyone has something that they care about that feels personal to them. Think about your experiences, or amplify someone else’s voice. Bridge those experiences. Plug those into conversations with people trying to affect change.
Start on your local level – local election voting, participating in board meetings, finding issues of people in your life and really digging into it. That ladders up.
The truth is in 2020 there’s going to be even more young people newly registered. If every young person voted for people who could move the issues they cared about forward, it would be a clean sweep.
If you’re reading this and you haven’t voted and can vote, please vote! And register for the next election!