If you’re upset by what’s happening this country and you’re not calling your two U.S. senators and your one congressperson EVERY DAY, you ain’t serious. Stop playing! Put those phone numbers in your contacts and spend five minutes (total) telling the officials who work for you what you expect to see out of them. Can’t find time between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to call? Oh, I got you. Text the word RESIST to 50409 and you can use Resistbot to send messages 24/7.
I wrote that in June, after a #CloseTheCamps protest in front of the offices of my senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. Here’s a video of me saying the same shit for people who prefer watching to reading.
That task — the daily phone calls and/or Resistbot — are both so easy to do and so meaningful. It’s kind of the least you can do and the most you can do at the same time. So do it! If you have time to write a Doomsday tweet or Facebook post, that means you have time to write a Resistbot tweet or Facebook message instead. You have the power! Seize it, own it, use it! Unleash your inner Megan Rapinoe!
Already calling/writing your U.S. senators and congressperson every day? Ready for the next step? Time to plunge into state politics. It is state legislatures that are passing draconian abortion bans in a deliberate attempt to get Roe v. Wade dismantled by the right-wingers on the Supreme Court.
When you learn about some of the fuckery that’s been going on right under your nose, you’re going to be good and mad and ready to put energy into a new project. That’s what happened in New York, where we had eight longtime state senators who ran for election as Democrats but always voted with Republicans. As I explained in January, they got away with it simply because people didn’t pay attention. These con artists counted on voters having this thought process: “It’s too hard to get to the polls on Election Day, I don’t know anything about state politics, and, hey, this Democrat is going to win anyway.” Let Edie Falco tell you more about it:
Thanks to grassroots activism — especially the efforts of No IDC NY — we got rid of six of those eight liars and now Democrats have a majority in the New York State Senate and Assembly. We’ve finally passed desperately needed laws at the state level, including early voting that will give people more than one day to get to the polls.
Today I went to a neighborhood meeting of the Four Freedoms Democratic Club to hear a progress report from my senator, Liz Krueger. She gave us a lot of insight into the strategy and passage of legislation ranging from a reproductive health act to protect New Yorkers from the federal government’s assault on abortion rights, to vaccination requirements, to renters’ rights, to the banning of cat declawing.
One thing I enjoy about Liz, who has been in office for 17 years, is that she doesn’t hold back. At one point she mused about former colleagues, “We had four — how do I put this politely — narcissistic criminals ..” She also applauded the activism that led to this new era in the state capital of Albany, and characterized the motivation of many of the newcomers to state politics as:
“I realized you’re screwing up really badly without my help.”
That’s good, Senator Krueger said: Run for office! Go ahead and primary her, even. Competitive primaries are healthy. As Liz pointed out, exciting people have emerged from primaries all over the nation. Of course, not everyone wants to run for office personally. That’s when you get involved in other people’s campaigns. Poodle is your friend here: Look up your local Democratic club or Indivisible chapter to find like-minded people to work with on behalf of promising candidates.
Don’t forget to give the people in office now a piece of your mind. Resistbot will help you identify your current state legislators. For real, if you want to control your own body and avoid outrageous rent increases, find out where your local politicians stand on those issues. If you love cats and hate measles? Same advice. Remember, these politicians work for you. If you don’t like them, you get to replace them. Yeah, you have to do a little bit of work to achieve that. But if you do a little bit of work, and get a friend to do a little bit of work, and that person gets another friend to do a little bit of work — now you have a whole new body politic.
If Poodle doesn’t help you enough and you need some ideas for actions in your state, I’m always happy to brainstorm. Leave any questions in the comments.