This OTYCD post originally appeared in July 2018, and has been updated lightly since then.
Learn to help friends and family who want to do more than just register to vote.
Sarah Jane here. We at OTYCD have encouraged you to talk to friends and family about voting, and make it as easy and as painless as possible for them to register, learn where their polling place is, and plot how they will physically get to the polls on Tuesday, November 3, 2020.
But what if they ask you about doing more than that? What if they’re excited, or concerned, or both about the direction the country is threatening to take, and they want to go beyond making sure they themselves are registered to vote?
May we humbly suggest you send them to this very blog?
Start by sending them to our page on The Most Important Thing You Can Do (we cheated, there’s actually four):
Also suggest they read the third entry in the Believe It: You Matter series, The Parable of Eating Less Meat. It’s about how activism is not a competition, and everything counts.
If you went from doing nothing to doing something, and you do that something consistently, you win. Doesn’t matter how big or small the something is.
Read Believe It: You Matter, Part III: The Parable Of Eating Less Meat:
And if you want to suggest that they subscribe to the blog, we won’t stop you.
Also encourage them to visit postcardstovoters.org and volunteer to write Get Out The Vote (GOTV) postcards, using their own supplies.
Of all the things I (Sarah Jane) have done to push back against Trump since November 2016, writing postcards to voters has been the most satisfying.
I can write postcards anytime Tony the Democrat and friends have a campaign going, which is almost always. (The few times when they’re between campaigns, I prep postcards for future campaigns by decorating them with rubber stamps.)
Writing postcards to voters doesn’t require knocking on doors, calling people, or otherwise approaching strangers, which is terrifying to an introvert like me.
Let’s be clear, though. I do all that stuff, too, and I recommend it, but writing postcards to voters is something I can do whenever I want, for as long as I want, and I can set it aside if need be. I call it my civic knitting–each postcard is a stitch that strengthens democracy.
Also? New research shows that hand-writing postcards to voters is just as effective at getting out the vote as canvassing (physically knocking on doors), and sometimes more effective.
For more, see this June 22, 2018 piece from Blue Virginia called The Mighty Pen Prevails: In the Digital Age, Handwritten Voter Contact Is a Powerful Secret Weapon:
If your friends and family are open to supporting candidates, point them to the OTYCD post on the Core Four Strategy:
Helping eager friends and family learn who’s running for election and re-election in 2018 and find candidates to support is pretty next-level, but if you have the time and energy to do it, we at OTYCD encourage you to follow through.
Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!