Over the last year, it feels like bad news has surrounded us constantly. The internet bombards us with every single shred of negativity that goes even slightly viral. We here at ComicsVerse have always made activism part of our mission statement. We want to emulate the heroes that we love in the comic book pages in the real world.

So, for 2018, we want to encourage you, our readers, to find the ways you can make changes in the world right outside your door by being more politically active. The world can be a terrifying place, and that fear can be paralyzing. But if each of us dedicates ourselves to being more politically active and making one small change, we can make this world better and set an example for others to follow.

1. Be politically active by being informed and making calls

Politically Active

If there’s one upside to the disastrous political climate, it’s that people are becoming more aware of how important it is to be vocal. We still live in a democracy, and we need to make sure our elected representatives remember that. It’s not enough to simply share on social media articles that should make you outraged. We need to take actions to make our voices heard.

Sure, petitions and emails are useful, but making calls is often the best way to speak truth to power. Hold your elected representatives accountable for their actions. One app we’ve found is called 5 Calls that provides scripts to use while calling representatives about difficult issues. If the idea of making calls is something you find frustrating or challenging, this app can give you the exact guidelines you need.

It’s also important to be aware of the issues at play and how you can have an impact on them. Sure, reading or watching the news helps, but seek out sources in your local politics as well. Change can’t happen on a massive scale overnight. One useful source is Indivisible, a site made up of former congressional staffers who have gathered information about local grassroots movements. This is a great resource if you’re interested in doing groundwork and getting more directly involved with a cause.

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2. Find a way to donate your money or time to causes you think are worthwhile

 

Politically Active

Southern Poverty Law Center

The SPLC is dedicated to fighting for the civil rights of all people. It’s an organization that has been crucial in winning landmark cases since 1971. They also provide resources for teaching tolerance in educational environments.

The Human Rights Campaign

The HRC is the largest LGBTQ+ advocacy organization in the country. They work to ensure equal rights for all LGBTQ+ people in both public and private spaces. Their work is especially valuable as they protect the increasingly vulnerable rights of LGTBQ+ people around the country. 

Native American Rights Fund

Somehow in 2017, the rights of Native Americans are still under fire. The Native American Rights Fund is a key organization in preserving the rights and well-being of Native Americans. Currently, they are part of the fight against the downsizing of national monuments and in the fight against the Keystone XL pipeline. If either of these causes matter to you, this is an organization to support.

Showing Up For Racial Justice

SURJ is an organization interested in deconstructing the racist ideologies that have systematically made their way into our culture. The organization’s main focus is building community and empathy through actions and frank discussions about race. This is an organization that will help to build bridges in your community. 

Natural Resources Defense Council

Over the last year, the federal government has carelessly rolled back numerous environmental regulations. It’s more important than ever that individual citizens do their best to reduce their environmental footprint. The Natural Resources Defense Council, like many organizations on this list, are made up of a dedicated group of lawyers and activists working to protect the delicate balance of the Earth’s ecosystem. Also, consider using these resources (x) (x) (x) to try and live a plastic-free life!  

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3. The most politically active thing to do is VOTE!

Regardless of your politics, we should all protect the right to vote. Currently, Florida is considering restoring the vote to 1.7 million ex-felons, a move that will undo years of voter suppression.

There’s also the issue of gerrymandering to consider. When politicians can draw the lines of their own congressional districts, it allows them to manipulate the populations they represent. People vote in unbelievably unpopular politicians year after year in part because the politicians can choose their constituents. A removal of district drawing power will mean a more representative democracy. Don’t take my word for it. Ask Schwarzenegger:

This goes beyond the larger government structures; encouraging the people you know to vote matters as well. In 2016, only 58% of the people eligible to vote actually voted. It’s an embarrassment that one of the most significant democracies in the world can barely get the majority of its citizens to vote. Staying out of the voting conversation doesn’t make as much of a statement as people think. The act of voting matters far more than the act of staying home.

Encourage the people you know aren’t registered to vote to do so! Make sure you have family and friends active in their own political lives. The time for indifference has passed. Make 2018 a year where you take all of the anger you feel about the state of the world and channel it towards being politically active. It will take hard work and maybe some difficult conversations with people in your life, but the world needs drastic change if things are ever going to improve.

Where We Go Now

It’s important to remember that the next few years will require all of us to speak up at times when we’re afraid. It may require us to be quiet when voices who better understand a struggle are speaking. You may even need to have some challenging conversations with yourself to better support a cause or purpose.

No matter what, remember that every struggle never came easily or quickly. Do what you can and inspire others to carry on where you can’t. Good luck out there. Let’s make 2018 better for ourselves and for those generations who can’t fight on their own.

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