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Subscribe to My Civic Workout

This OTYCD post originally appeared in November 2018.

 

Subscribe to My Civic Workout, an activist outlet that delivers twice-weekly action items broken down into things that demand a bit of your time, more of your time, and a bit more of your time than that.

 

My Civic Workout is one of the many online activism outlets that sprung up after the November 2016 election. It belongs to Action Alliance, as does One Thing You Can Do. But it doesn’t seem to get the play or the recognition that some of the others do, so we’re giving it a blog post.

 

My Civic Workout does an admirable job of picking a timely resistance-related topic and breaking it down into three actions that demand varying amounts of investment.

 

The “Five Minute Workout” is quick and simple (but not necessarily easy)–donate money, read a short article, watch a video.

 

The “Ten Minute Workout” is more involved. Read a longer, more densely written article, such as a white paper or an academic article. Type your address into a database and learn about gun deaths in your area, and share it with friends and family. Call your senators, using a script offered by MCW, and advocate for a bill.

 

The “30 Minute Workout” is even more involved, and sometimes reminds you to do stuff that you should have done ages ago anyway. For example, in the wake of Harvey, it suggested drawing up a comprehensive, personalized disaster plan. During the effort to defend Obamacare, it encouraged setting up a phone tree–recruiting friends to call their senators, and having them recruit friends in turn. One of its post-Charlottesville tasks was to check an interactive map and see if there were Confederate monuments on public land near you, and if so, urge local officials to remove them.

 

The twice-weekly email finishes with a selection of nice little digestifs: “Second Wind,” a nugget of wisdom related to the overall theme of the email, and “Need a Little Joy?” a bit of pure fun.

 

My Civic Workout also stands out among the post-2016-election activist sites for its consistency. Sarah Jane, OTYCD leader, has been a subscriber since January at least and she can’t recall MCW missing a week or otherwise dropping the ball. The graphics are elegant, well-chosen, and pleasant to look at. *We say check it out.

 

Visit the website for My Civic Workout:

https://www.mycivicworkout.com

 

Subscribe to My Civic Workout:

https://www.mycivicworkout.com

 

Suggest a topic to My Civic Workout or otherwise contact them:

https://www.mycivicworkout.com/contact/

 

Meet the My Civic Workout team:

https://www.mycivicworkout.com/theteam/

 

Donate to My Civic Workout:

https://www.mycivicworkout.com/support/

 

Like it on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/mycivicworkout/

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@MyCivicWorkout

 

And while you’re at it, check out Action Alliance, which accepted My Civic Workout and One Thing You Can Do as members who offer and encourage post-2016-election actions.:

https://www.actionalliance.co/#members

 

*My Civic Workout didn’t ask us to write about it. As of late-ish 2017, when we wrote this post, neither MCW or any member of its six-member team followed or subscribed to OTYCD (at least as far as we know). We’ve interacted with whoever speaks for MCW on Twitter. We wrote about MCW because we like it and thought you might like it too, simple as that.

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Support the Military Religious Freedom Foundation

This OTYCD post originally appeared in June 2018.

 

Support the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), which defends the first amendment rights of military personnel against coercion by fundamentalists of all stripes.

 

Michael “Mikey” Weinstein founded the MRFF in 2005 with the aim of combatting extremists, usually Christians, who attempt religious intimidation against military colleagues who do not share their views. It has assisted more than 50,000 active duty military, about 96 percent of whom identify as Christian. The remaining four percent comprise adherents of other faiths, or profess no faith. The MRFF has pursued legal action against the Pentagon and the Secretary of Defense on behalf of military plaintiffs who have been wronged by the actions of overly aggressive fundamentalist Christians.

 

The MRFF’s mission statement includes these tenets, among others:

  • No religion or religious philosophy may be advanced by the United States Armed Forces over any other religion or religious philosophy.
  • No member of the United States Armed Forces may be compelled in any way to conform to a particular religion or religious philosophy.
  • No member of the United States Armed Forces may be compelled in any way to witness or engage in any religious exercise.
  • No member of the military may be compelled to endure unwanted religious proselytization, evangelization or persuasion of any sort in a military setting and/or by a military superior or civilian employee of the military.
  • The full exercise of religious freedom includes the right not to subscribe to any particular religion or religious philosophy. The so-called “unchurched” cede no Constitutional rights by want of their separation from organized faith.

 

Visit the MRFF website:

https://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org

 

Like MRFF founder Mikey Weinstein on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/MikeyMRFF

 

Follow him on Twitter:

@MikeyWeinstein

 

Donate to the MRFF:

Make a Donation

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Support Your Local Independent Bookstore and Avoid Amazon

This OTYCD post originally ran in December 2018.

 

Do you have a local independent bookstore? Spend money there, early and often. And stop buying your books, or anything really, at Amazon until it pulls its ads from Breitbart and stops carrying Trump products.

 

Reading is good. Fundamental, even. If you are lucky enough to have an independent bookstore near you–aka not Barnes & Noble–go spend some money there as soon as you can, and make a plan to swing by on a regular basis. Also, follow your local indie bookstore on social media, attend its events, and bring your friends, too.

 

Independent bookstores were vulnerable before Amazon arrived (Barnes & Noble did much to kill them) and not much has changed. Please step up and support your nearest one with your dollars.

 

Giving indie bookstores your business is a social good in and of itself, no matter who’s running the country, but it takes on greater importance under the Trump administration.

 

Both #GrabYourWallet and Sleeping Giants have been targeting Amazon for months, because it sells Trump family products and because it has not moved to pull its ads from Breitbart. It has been deaf to all entreaties, even as Sleeping Giants closes in the milestone of convincing 2,000 advertisers to leave the stomach-turning alt-right web site and despite countless calls, emails, and letters from supporters of #GrabYourWallet (As of early April, Amazon ranks as number 5 on the site’s Top 10 list of retailers to boycott.)

 

Important: You should know that Amazon is a somewhat controversial choice to boycott because its owner, Jeff Bezos, also owns the Washington Post, which has been one of the best, most relentless newspapers covering the Trump administration. Also, the Amazon Prime service makes it cheap and easy to read the Washington Post by offering free access online for six months and then at $4.99 thereafter. For some, Bezos’s support of the Washington Post nullifies any sins that Amazon is perpetrating.

 

Boycotting Amazon is far more difficult than other retailers because it offers so much more than books. Fortunately, the #GrabYourWallet community is way ahead on this, with a whitelist of alternatives to look to.

 

Speaking of which–if you don’t have a local independent bookstore and want to stop giving money to Amazon, try these shops instead:

 

 

Powell’s

http://www.powells.com

 

 

The Strand Bookstore

http://www.strandbooks.com

 

 

See #GrabYourWallet’s whitelist of retailers (bookstores included):

https://grabyourwallet.org/Shop%20These%20Companies.html

 

 

See #GrabYourWallet’s list of retailers to avoid (retailers who sell Trump-branded products):

https://grabyourwallet.org

 

 

See the Sleeping Giants list of advertisers who have dropped Breitbart:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1i9o8CR_kjJ6mBd44k6CRZEhlXuZqq-XCCOoj-e8RJ7Q/edit

 

 

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!

 

 

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Support the Committee to Protect Journalists

This OTYCD entry originally posted in July 2017.

 

Support the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), an independent nonprofit that defends the rights of journalists to report the news without reprisal.

 

We at OTYCD knew we would devote a post to the CPJ at some point. Trump’s July 2, 2017 tweet threatening CNN forced our hand.

 

Since its founding in 1981, the CPJ has vigorously defended journalists around the world from all sorts of threats. At its core it is devoted to promoting and defending the value of accurate information in a free society. It tracks how many journalists are killed for simply doing their jobs, how many have been jailed, and how many are missing. It monitors the levels of censorship in various countries. It shines a light on attacks on the press. It issues safety guides and dispatches emergency response teams to journalists and media crews working in dangerous areas.

 

The CPJ does good, necessary work. Please support it.

 

Visit the CPJ website:

https://cpj.org

 

Like the CPJ on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/committeetoprotectjournalists/?ref=ts

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@pressfreedom

 

Donate to the CPJ:
https://cpj20023.thankyou4caring.org

 

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!

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Support Juli Briskman’s Run for Algonkian District Supervisor in Loudoun County, Virginia

This post originally appeared on OTYCD in March 2019. 

 

Support Juli Briskman’s Run for Algonkian District Supervisor in Loudoun County, Virginia.

 

If that name seems familiar, it should. Briskman outed herself as the cyclist who flipped the bird at Trump’s motorcade in that photo that went viral in 2017.

 

When she identified herself, her employer fired her. We at OTYCD wrote about the GoFundMe to raise money to help her out in the wake of losing her job. She ultimately collected $142,000 against a stated goal of $100,000.

 

Now she’s decided to run for something.

 

She’s demonstrated great sense and level-headedness by aiming for a local-regional office. She wants to serve as the Algonkian District Supervisor in Loudon County, Virginia. The election is in November 2019.

 

If you live in Loudon County, this is a perfect fit for your 2019 To-Do List. If you don’t live there, there’s nothing stopping you from donating to Briskman and spreading the word about her campaign.

 

See Juli Briskman’s campaign website:

https://www.briskmanforsupervisor.com

 

See her “Meet Juli” page:

https://www.briskmanforsupervisor.com/meet-juli

 

Donate to her campaign:

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/briskman-for-supervisor

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the blue button on the upper right or checking the About & Subscribe page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

Follow her on Twitter:

@julibriskman

 

Like her on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/briskmanforsupervisor/

 

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Believe It: You Matter, Part VI: Be Like Danica Roem

This post originally appeared on OTYCD in October 2018. 

 

Believe it, you matter: Be Like Danica Roem.

 

If the election of November 2016 jolted you into treating democracy more like a part-time job, you’ve since realized how tedious and trying it can be. It certainly can feel like work, and some parts will feel like work no matter how you approach them.

 

Some aspects of democracy can be flat-out nasty. Consider what Danica Roem faced when she ran for a seat in the Virginia state legislature in 2017. She was a first-timer transgender woman Democrat going up against Bob Marshall, a 13-term Republican incumbent who introduced a state bill to bar transgender students from the bathrooms of their choice, and who styled himself his state’s “chief homophobe.”

 

Yes, really.

 

And he was a raging jerk to her, too, refusing to debate her and deliberately using the wrong pronouns when discussing her. He produced campaign ads that attacked her transgender identity.

 

Roem beat that raging jerk. Soundly. By nearly nine points, all told.

 

Her opponent did not mention her in his post-election Facebook post.

 

Once it was clear that Roem had won, journalists asked her about Marshall.

 

She had every right to drop the boom on him, to scorch him, to rain garbage upon him.

 

Instead, Roem said:

 

“I don’t attack my constituents. Bob is my constituent now.”

 

And with those words, she proved that the best person won.

 

In her 2016 speech at the Democratic Convention, former First Lady Michelle Obama counseled, ‘When they go low, we go high.’

 

Roem did exactly that. Roem is the living, breathing embodiment of the power of Obama’s words.

 

You are human. Life is tough, and politics is doubly so.

 

But Roem is just as human as you are, and at the moment when she could have unburdened her anger on her opponent, a man who did everything he could to make himself her foe, she showed kindness and grace and held her hand out to him.

 

Be like Danica Roem.

 

 

Read more about Roem’s race and her spectacular win:

Her opponent used male pronouns to describe her. He refused to debate her. Last night, Danica Roem made history.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/11/8/16622890/danica-roem-transgender-candidate-virginia

 

Read about Michelle Obama’s 2016 speech at the Democratic convention:

http://beta.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-michelle-speech-20160725-snap-story.html

 

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!

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Tell Your MoCs That You Saw Their Social Media Posts

This post originally appeared on OTYCD in June 2017.

 

When you talk to your members of Congress, make sure to cite specific posts they’ve made to their social media accounts.

 

We live in the world of Facebook and Twitter, but our members of Congress don’t–at least not to the extent that we do. To them, phone calls are real, and letters are real, and email and faxes and postcards are real.

 

Social media posts are not as real to them as those other forms of communication. If you tweet at your MoCs or comment on their Facebook posts, they don’t take those statements as seriously as if you had phoned them or mailed them.

 

There’s a lot of reasons why this is so, and they’re long and boring and not really the point of this post. The point is that when you contact your MoCs by the means that are real to them, you should mention, and quote back to them, specific things you saw on their social media accounts.

 

Facebook, Twitter, and the like will start to become more real to your MoCs, and more like letters and phone calls and faxes in their minds, when you show them that you, their constituents and supporters, pay attention to social media.

 

The best way to do this is when you are contacting them to thank them for doing something: “Hey Senator (Lastname)! I saw you tweet about signing the Congressional letter condemning Trump’s pulling out of the Paris accord. Thank you for doing that!’ Linking social media with positive feedback will help move us closer to the day when social media becomes as accepted as all those other forms of communication.