See One Thing You Can Do’s 2020 To-Do List

See the 2020 To-Do List compiled by this very blog, One Thing You Can Do.


With profound apologies for not having this ready to go on January 1, 2020, we have assembled a To-Do list for 2020.


We created it as a page on the site, but we realize we should release it as a post as well.


Please bookmark it and refer to it often in the months leading up to Tuesday, November 3, 2020.


See it here:




Learn How to Intervene as a Bystander to Hateful Speech and Acts

This OTYCD entry originally posted in July 2017.


Learn or refresh yourself on strategies for how to diffuse hateful situations as a bystander.


The racist terrorist attack on public transit in Portland, Oregon in May that left two men dead and a third wounded raised awareness about bystander training. The passengers who became victims confronted the ranting man directly when he accosted two young women who appeared to be Muslim, and continued to do so after he made death threats against those who tried to de-escalate the situation.


Those who offer bystander training have said that the Portland men didn’t do anything wrong. It would be a shame if the incident scared people off from confronting people who spew hate in public spaces.


Here are a bundle of resources that will help you learn how to intervene when you witness hateful situations.



Start with Maeril’s now-classic cartoon on what to do if you witness Islamophobic harassment.



Hollaback, a movement devoted to stopping street harassment, offers digital bystander intervention training for a modest fee:




Read the text of a speech on Bystander Intervention Training given by folks at the Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition of Maryland:




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!



See if Collective Action for Safe Spaces is doing a bystander intervention workshop near you, or request one:




For background, read a local news account of the Portland attack:




And read a Slate article about bystander training in the wake of the attack:




See Political Charge’s Vital Posts on Voting by Mail, State by State

This OTYCD post originally appeared in April 2020. 


See Political Charge’s vital posts on voting by mail, state by state.


We at OTYCD have recommended the Political Charge blog before.


Unsurprisingly, we’re recommending Political Charge again. Ok, we’re a little jealous because it beat us to a post we wanted to write. Still, it’s more important that the information gets out there, not who gets it out there.


As of Easter 2020, COVID-19 is upending the United States. It’s thrown millions out of work and school and confined them to their homes in hopes of “flattening the curve”–slowing the spread of the disease and lessening the stress on hospitals. It’s unclear if so-called normal life can resume before researchers come up with a safe, effective vaccine. The earliest that could happen is about 18 months–or the fall of NEXT year.


The debacle in Wisconsin on April 7, which forced residents of cities to appear in person at the few polling that were able to open (many poll workers are elderly and opted to stay home rather than risk their health), made it clear we have to get to work, NOW, on making voting by mail a nationwide option.


Trump is–I know you’re shocked–opposed, because he and the Republicans believe that anything that helps more people vote makes it harder for them to win.


Anyway! Political Charge beat us to the punch with two must-read posts.


The first identifies all the states that allow some form of voting by mail, be it straight-up voting by mail or absentee ballots or something similar. See Voting By Mail Is Not New or Uncommon. Not By A Long Shot.


The second is a state-by-state breakdown with links you can click to learn what vote-by-mail provisions your state allows. That piece is titled How To Vote By Mail in Every Single State.


Please read those articles and share them far and wide, so all your friends and family can learn how to exercise their voting rights.


See the Political Charge blog (the subscription button is at the lower right, at the bottom of the page):




See Political Charge’s piece on Getting Started in Political Activism:

Getting Started in Political Activism



Follow Tokyo Sand on Twitter:




Like Political Charge on Facebook:




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Plan Ahead–Take Tuesday, November 3, 2020 Off, and Maybe Other Days Too

This OTYCD post originally appeared in February 2020.


Plan ahead! Make sure to take Tuesday, November 3, 2020 off from work, and maybe Monday November 2 and Friday October 30 as well.


Election Day 2020 is going to be A Thing. You thought the 2018 midterms were a thing? Well, they were, but this is going to be A Bigger Thing.


You need to prepare for it.


Now is the time to think about what you will do on and around Tuesday, November 3, 2020 so you will be as effective as you can be in defending and upholding democracy.


It might make more sense for you to vote early or vote absentee so you can cover for co-workers to free them to head to the polls.


It might make more sense to take that Tuesday off from work, and maybe the surrounding days, too.


If you know you’re going to be out of town on that Tuesday, devote some time to getting your absentee ballot sorted.


Plan ahead, all!


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!



Help Journalist Linda Tirado, Who Was Blinded in One Eye While Covering Protests in Minneapolis

Editor’s note: We’re re-running this story so soon after the original posting because Tirado has started receiving hospital bills for her post-injury care, and they are substantial.


You can donate through Paypal:



Or Venmo:



Help journalist Linda Tirado, aka @KillerMartinis, who was blinded in her left eye while covering protests in Minneapolis on Friday, May 29, 2020.


First, an apology. We at OTYCD have been meaning to write a post about Tirado for, oooh, over a year, at least. She understands how to report about the realities of poverty like few journalists do.


We held off because we wanted whoever wrote the post to have read Tirado’s book, Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America, and offer a book review while telling you how awesome she is.


But we wanted to make sure we paid full price for her book, and OTYCD has no budget, and Trumpstuff kept happening and kept happening and kept happening, and we just never got to it.


So we’re sorry, deeply sorry, that we’re doing our first post on Linda Tirado because she was hurt while covering the Minneapolis protests. She believes she was struck by a rubber bullet that launched from where police had been at the time.


Protesters helped her get out and get to a hospital. Doctors tell her she is likely to permanently lose sight in her left eye.


Tirado was one of several journalists who were injured by police during protests of deadly police brutality in late May, 2020. She appears to be the most badly injured of those who suffered attacks.


In true Linda Tirado fashion, she live-tweeted the aftermath of the incident through her @KillerMartinis account, staying bracingly true and darkly funny all the while:



So me and this nurse have gotten into a gallows humor contest to see which is worse, a nurse or a journo I think since I’m the one with the exploded eye I win by default


Guys I just realized that now I have like an unbeatable excuse to refuse to parallel park


Up side, I do not have the plague, they tested me for covid and that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. Fucked world where I’m like “well they might have exploded my eyeball but at least it got me basic medical care!”


Okay because people are awful and we can’t even take a day off it comes to my attention that some folks are using my injury to argue that people should stop protesting Fuck that, stay in the streets double for me, cause I can’t. It was police who shot me, not protesters.


It was protesters who got me to the hospital, who gave me medical supplies and acted as my eyes when I couldn’t see past the blood and swelling I am not your establishment’s argument. And I am happy to tell you so directly.


No worries, I’ve been back at work for five hours now My job is to witness and they only got my left eye. My right one is good to go



Tirado is a fine journalist, amazing on Twitter, and hugely generous, helping folks out by soliciting donations online.


She needs us now. Her medical bills must be high already, and we’re guessing she’ll need more surgery in the future.



So! Please, sign on to her Patreon:




Buy Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America, preferably from an independent bookstore:



Follow Linda Tirado on Twitter:



…and boost her work wherever and however you can. Ask your library to acquire her book. Share her tweets. Share her work.


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!


FWIW, we put up the Twitter logo rather than a photo of Linda Tirado for a bunch of reasons. We don’t want to use a post-injury hospital photo because it’ll stay on top of this post forever, and we don’t want it to “stand for” her and be the way you “meet” her. And the portrait photos she uploaded to Patreon and Twitter are too small to scrape. If a good, larger image of her appears, we’ll swap it in.




Urge Your State Legislators To Pass Laws That Stop Police Forces From Accepting Surplus Military Equipment

This OTYCD entry originally posted in September 2017. We’re reposting it now (June 2020) because Brian Schatz, Democratic Senator from Hawaii, is sponsoring a bill that would stop this practice. This story tells you how you can push back on the state level.


Contact your state legislators–your state senator and state house rep–and urge them to pass laws that prevent your state’s police departments from accepting surplus military combat gear that the federal government might offer to their forces. 


In August 2017, Trump issued an executive order that reversed a 2015 executive order of President Obama’s which had barred American police forces from accepting castoff military gear. Before Obama’s order, the police had access to some heavy-duty stuff: armored vehicles, grenade launchers, bayonets, and more.


Obama had issued his order partly in response to concerns about how the local police had handled protests in Ferguson, Missouri after a white police officer killed Michael Brown. In explaining why Trump was lifting the ban, U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions stated, “Those restrictions went too far. We will not put superficial concerns above public safety.”


We can’t stop the feds from offering the military gear to state police departments. But we can ask state legislators to pass laws that stop police departments from accepting it.


Back in March 2015, Montana state legislator Nicholas Schwaderer, a Republican, wrote just such a bill. It passed with bipartisan support, and Montana’s governor, Democrat Steve Bullock, signed it into law.


First, find the contact information for your state representatives. If you don’t know who they are, plug your address into this search engine, and it’ll tell you:



State representatives are far easier to reach directly than federal representatives, though some do have an intern or a staffer. State reps are also far less likely to be stratified in their views–conservative Democrats and liberal Republicans still exist on the state level.


Here is a suggested script for calling or writing your state reps:

“Dear (Senator/House Rep Lastname,) I am (Firstname Lastname, from town, zip code). I am (calling/emailing) to ask you to write a bill that would prevent state police departments from receiving castoff military gear, such as bayonets, armored vehicles, and grenade launchers. I believe that the state’s police departments should not have the opportunity to use equipment designed for warfare against the citizens they are supposed to protect and serve. Writing a bill that prevents the police from accepting military gear from the federal government will keep us all safer. Thank you.”


Read more about Trump’s executive order on castoff military gear:





Read about the Montana bill and its success:





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Support The Lincoln Project, a Group of Never Trump Republicans and Ex-Republicans Who Are Determined to Defeat Trump This Fall

This OTYCD post originally appeared in March 2020. 


Support The Lincoln Project, a group of never-Trump Republicans and ex-Republicans who have made it their mission to defeat Trump this fall. 


We at OTYCD have consistently asked you to consider, and check out, various and sundry folks who we consider sane Republicans.


We do this because we know that when it comes to beating Trump, the bigger the coalition, the better. We don’t have to agree with someone 100 percent before we will join forces with them on a specific topic or task.


The Lincoln Project combines the efforts of pretty much every never-Trumper of note out there–some you know, some you’ve never heard of.


Invoking the name and legacy of the greatest Republican president ever, Abraham Lincoln, the folks behind The Lincoln Project have dedicated themselves to sending Trump packing.


From their mission statement: “We do not undertake this task lightly nor from ideological preference. Our many policy differences with national Democrats remain. However, the priority for all patriotic Americans must be a shared fidelity to the Constitution and a commitment to defeat those candidates who have abandoned their constitutional oaths, regardless of party. Electing Democrats who support the Constitution over Republicans who do not is a worthy effort.”


One of the ways they choose to fight back is with devastating ads that target GOP Senators who are up for re-election, as well as the actions of Trump himself.


While you might not support individual members of The Lincoln Project (and heck, you might absolutely hate some of them), its efforts are worth checking out and encouraging.


Obligatory warning, with apologies for bonking you all on the head about this fact: The people who founded The Lincoln Project, and are active in it, hold at least some political beliefs that don’t match yours. That means that sometimes, some of them will say things and do things that might piss you off well and thoroughly. Hell, one of them might have said something bizarre, distasteful, or damn near unspeakable just last week, possibly. That’s ok. Really, it’s OK. You’re being asked to look at what The Lincoln Project is doing and support what you like, not endorse every last little everything that it and each and every one of its members does. The Lincoln Project was launched because its creators understand the danger of Trump–that’s the key thing. One of the reasons this country is so borked right now is we’re fiercely polarized and, in avoiding jerks who disagree with us, we end up avoiding decent people who happen to disagree with us. That’s got to stop if we want to make things better.



See the main page for The Lincoln Project:




See the op-ed, authored by four members of The Lincoln Project, which was published in the New York Times:




Donate to The Lincoln Project:




Like The Lincoln Project on Facebook:




Follow The Lincoln Project on Twitter:




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!


Support Black-Owned Businesses

This OTYCD entry originally posted in July 2017.


Support black-owned businesses, both in your community and across the country.


The Support Black Owned (SBO) website offers a search engine that will help you find black-owned businesses in your state.  Black-owned businesses are almost always small businesses of the sort that comprise the fabric of a community.


When you need to buy goods and services, please check your state listing at SBO first and see if someone there can meet your needs.



See the SBO website (scroll to the bottom for the state links; they’re on the right):




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



Like the SBO Facebook page:




Follow SBO on Twitter:




Connect with SBO on LinkedIn:



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!


Join Showing Up for Racial Justice and Become a Better Ally

This OTYCD piece originally appeared in February 2019.


Join Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), a group that encourages and organizes white people to dismantle white supremacy and move America toward actual racial equality.


If you’re reading this, odds are you’re white. And odds are you’re sickened by how white supremacy warps our society and you want to do something about it. Knowing what to do, exactly, can be hard. White supremacy is insidious and it can be hard for white people to see its effects as clearly as people of color do.


SURJ, founded in 2009, is a network of white anti-racists that’s devoted to serving as allies to people of color and their causes. It also supports using white privilege as a weapon against itself by speaking out against police brutality and related abuses. It facilitates the awkward conversations that white people need to have, amongst ourselves, without burdening people of color to shepherd us and do the work for us.


SURJ is intersectional and all-inclusive while staying alert to how systemic racism shows its face in a chapter’s local community, and finding thoughtful, specific ways to fight back. SURJ will also help you learn to be a better, more useful ally.



Visit the SURJ website:




Find your nearest SURJ group:




Donate to SURJ:




Like its Facebook page:




Follow it on Twitter:




Read this 2015 interview with SURJ leaders:



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!


Join Phase Two of the Postcards to Wisconsin GOTV Campaign–Now Prepping Two MILLION Postcards to Go to Wisconsin and Michigan In the Fall

This OTYCD post originally appeared in May 2020.


Please join phase two of the Postcards to Wisconsin Get Out The Vote (GOTV) project–prepping two million GOTV postcards to remind Democrats in Wisconsin and Michigan to vote in the general election on November 3, 2020.


Earlier this year, OTCYD covered Postcards to Wisconsin, a GOTV initiative to encourage Democratic Wisconsin voters to turn out for the primary on April 7, 2020. (The project began well before the COVID-19 pandemic spread in the United States.)


Team Postcards to Wisconsin exceeded its initial goal, sending 600,000 GOTV postcards to  Democratic voters in Wisconsin.


Now they’re turning their energies to a bigger, more ambitious goal: Sending two million postcards to voters in Wisconsin and Michigan ahead of the November 3, 2020 general election.


You might recall that Trump soundly lost the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election but eked out a victory in the Electoral College with 78,000 votes cast in three states: Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.


Joining this GOTV postcard effort allows you to do something true and real to correct the 2016 fluke.


As we at OTYCD prepare this post in mid-May, shipments of blank postcards have begun.


Unlike the earlier campaign, you can choose which message you’ll hand-write.


You can choose Message A, which is regarded as three times more effective than standard messages, or Message B, a less widely tested script designed to counter dog whistle-ish partisan messages and stir up enthusiasm to vote. You can also request a half-and-half mix of both.


Another change from round one is the organizers are asking contributors to avoid holding in-person postcard-writing parties because of COVID-19. Parties conducted over Zoom are A-OK.


There’s no specific mailing date yet, but the postcards should be sent sometime in October 2020. We at OTYCD will update subsequent reposts with the date once it is known.


As per usual with postcard-writing campaigns, you must supply the postcard stamps. They cost 35 cents each.


If you can’t participate, you can donate to the Postcards to Wisconsin campaign instead.


See the Postcards to Wisconsin and Michigan website.


See the Postcards to Wisconsin and Michigan FAQ.


Like the Postcards to Wisconsin and Michigan Facebook page.


Follow the Postcards to Wisconsin and Michigan campaign on Twitter.


Boost the related hashtag, #Postcards2WI


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!