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Save This Tool That Shows What Laws Your State Is Making Right Now in Six Key Areas

Bookmark a tool by OurStates that shows you what new laws your state might be making in six key areas: immigration, policing and protest, reproductive justice, voting rights, LGBTQ equality, and economic justice.

State legislators aren’t just the equivalent of the farm teams for the Democratic and Republican parties–they’re the farm teams for federal laws, too. Well-funded right-wing activist groups have attempted to pass weird, extreme laws on the state level before trying to get Congress to bite.

While there are web-based tools that show what your state legislature is doing overall right now, and tools that show what bills the states are considering on a single issue, there aren’t many that show what all 50 states are doing on more than one issue. In fact, what OurStates built might stand alone. It’s a project of StayWoke, a 501(c)4 organization devoted to pursuing justice and equality. Its planning team includes DeRay Mckesson, Samuel Sinyangwe, Brittany Packnett, and a whole host of smart, perceptive people who you’d be smart to follow on Twitter.

When you click on a category, it colors the U.S. map accordingly: States colored red are working on harmful laws; blue states are creating good laws; and grey states are not currently chasing anything on that topic.

Click on your state, and you’ll open a window that shows you everything it is doing on all six topics. It will describe the law and tell you if the bills are good or bad, as well as which party controls the legislature, what the law would do, and how close the bill is to becoming law.

If you scroll down, the OurStates page will give you a link through which you can find your state legislators’ contact information, as well as advice on how to speak with them.


See and use the nifty tool built by OurStates:


Meet the StayWoke planning team and follow them all on Twitter:


Donate to StayWoke:



Community Activism · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Learn to Help Someone Who Regrets Voting for Trump


You might know people who voted for Donald Trump. A good number of them are feeling remorse right now, and at least some of them might have said as much in front of you.

If you’re up for it, you can help your friends who voted for Trump and want to do something to push back.

If a regretful Trump voter opens up to you, don’t unleash your anger at them. Do not mock them. Do not try to make them feel bad or humiliate them. You will only make them double down on their choice, and you will lose them.

Instead ask, “Are you ready to do something about it?”

If the answer is “No,” or something along the lines of “I’m not sure,” back off immediately and completely. Do not hard-sell this, but you can bring it up again after a few weeks if they give you a natural opening when you’re talking casually.

If the answer is “Yes,” or “I think so,” ask them to use this web site to find their members of Congress (it will also give them their state representatives as well):

And ask them to download and read Call the Halls:

Recommend that they get in the habit of calling their members of Congress to complain about this or that thing Trump just did, and asking their reps to fight back against it.

Explain to your friends that all Executive Orders are subject to Congressional approval, and can be nullified. If Trump signs something that your regretful friends don’t like, tell them that they can call their MoCs and ask them to make a law that stops the EO.

If it makes sense, give them this link to Vice‘s running tally of all the executive orders and laws that Trump has signed in 2017. They should find something here that they won’t like (make sure to tell them to take down the name and number of the document that’s bothering them) and would feel comfortable calling their MoCs for.

If you have a better idea of how your friends’ politics shake out, THEN maybe direct them to or other resources that they might perceive as being left-wing or liberal-leaning.

When getting a regretful Trump voter started, it’s best to stick with Emily Ellsworth’s Call the Halls because it is a straightforward, nonpartisan resource and its author is a Republican from Utah.

Going forward, remain available to your friends. Don’t jump in to talk; focus on listening to them. Pay close attention to what they say so you can remember and suggest future actions that they could take to push back against Trump. Keep the focus on them and their needs.

If your conversations with regretful Trump voters rile you up or piss you off, bite it back as best you can. If you hit your limit, find a way to change the subject. If you can’t take any more and your friend won’t quit it, excuse yourself from the situation. It is important that you don’t show anger or contempt for Trump voters in front of your regretful friends. That could cause them to double down.

Also keep in mind that you should only do as much as you’re willing to do, and it is acceptable to do nothing. If you don’t think you can talk to regretful Trump-voting friends without snapping or shredding them, then don’t talk to them about this issue, and deflect any attempts to lure you in.

Going through the actions suggested above–responding to an ‘I think so’ or a ‘Yes’ with the web site resources–and then doing no followup of any kind whatsoever with your regretful friends is also OK. You planted the seeds. Sometimes that’s enough, and nature takes care of the rest.

The most important thing is to think through what you would do in this situation, figure out how much you are willing to do, and then stick to your plan.

Community Activism · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Save These Tools · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Vote with your Dollars

Save This Tool: It’s Time to Fight

Got another brilliant tool for you all to save and cherish. It’ll also appear on the Tool Box page soon.

It’s Time to Fight is goddamn excellent. Written by a political staffer who prefers to remain anonymous, it’s one-stop shopping for when you’re looking for more than one thing you can do. Want time-sensitive actions? It’s got em. Longer-term stuff? Yep. Forgot who your members of Congress are? It’s Time to Fight will help you find them.

Go here, click on what looks good to you, and start fighting:

Bookmark it. Visit it often. And follow the author on twitter: @Celeste_pewter

Elections · GOOD UPDATE! · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Vote with your Dollars

GOOD UPDATE! Democrat Hala Ayala WON A Seat in Virginia’s State Legislature

YES YES YES! Hala Ayala won her race for a seat in Virginia’s House of Delegates! She defeated Rich Anderson, a four-term Republican incumbent.

Read more here:–term-incumbent/article_22e3019e-c434-11e7-bb85-b3efe305948f.html

Original text of this post follows.

Support Democrat Hala Ayala, who is running for a seat in Virginia’s House of Delegates on November 7, 2017.

In addition to spotlighting five Virginia state-level candidates chosen by Flippable for the upcoming race in November, we at OTYCD are also devoting posts to six candidates chosen by 314 Action whose races fall in 2017. 314 Action is an organization that boosts hopefuls who have STEM backgrounds.

Ayala worked her way up from a service job with no benefits to serving the Department of Homeland Security as a cybersecurity specialist. She is the founder and former president of the Prince William County chapter of the National Organization for Women. She helped organize Virginian efforts to appear at the Women’s March on Washington on January 21, 2017.

Ayala would expand Medicaid and defend Planned Parenthood. A former president of a local Parent-Teacher Organization, she supports universal pre-K, affordable college and university tuition, and efforts against bullying and discrimination. She would invest in public transportation and other infrastructure projects that could reduce traffic woes. She supports initiatives for paid family leave, paid sick leave, increasing the minimum wage, and ensuring equal pay for equal work.


See Ayala’s campaign website:


See her Meet Hala page:


See her Issues page:


Donate to Ayala’s campaign:


Like her on Facebook:


Follow her on Twitter:



See her 314 Action page:


See her Crowdpac page:


See her Ballotpedia page:


See 314 Action’s Endorsed Candidates page:


Donate to 314 Action:,25,50,100,250,500,1000&amount=25&recurring=true

Elections · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · GOOD UPDATE! · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Vote with your Dollars

GOOD UPDATE! Democrat Danica Roem WON Her Virginia State Legislature Race

YES YES YES! Democrat Danica Roem beat incumbent Republican Bob Marshall for a Virginia state senate seat. Roem becomes the first openly transgender elected official in Virginia, defeating an anti-LBGTQ Republican who had described himself as his state’s “chief homophobe.”

Read more about Roem’s historic win:


Support Democrat Danica Roem, who is running for a seat in the Virginia state legislature.

Flippable, the organization created after the 2016 elections to focus on state and local elections, has identified the state of Virginia as, well, flippable. All 100 seats in its House of Delegates are up for grabs on November 7, 2017.

We at OTYCD hope to prep and post items on the five Virginia candidates in the districts that Flippable has deemed most worthy of your time and money.

Roem is a lifelong Virginian who has worked as a reporter for more than a decade. If she wins, she will be only the third transgender candidate elected to a state legislature. She’s going up against an incumbent, Republican Bob Marshall, who has supported anti-LBGTQ bills, including an anti-transgender bathroom bill.

Her big issue is traffic–specifically, fixing Route 28 to improve its horrific rush hour. She would also advocate for universal pre-K and for increasing pay for public school teachers. She wants to protect students from bullying and discrimination and supports measures that make Virginia more welcoming to all.


See Roem’s campaign website:


See her About Danica page:


See her Top Issues page:


Donate to Roem’s campaign:


Phone-bank for Danica:


Like Roem on Facebook:


Follow her on Twitter:



See Roem’s Flippable page:


See her Ballotpedia page:


See Flippable’s ‘Why Virginia?’ page, which will also lead you to the other four chosen candidates:


Read other articles about Roem’s historic run:

Community Activism · Ethics · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Save These Tools · Stand Up for Norms · Thank You Actions · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Vote with your Dollars

Want to Do More Than One Thing?

One Thing You Can Do‘s purpose is to help you focus. It gives you one thing you can do, every day, to push back against Trump. One thing. Every day.

So you’ve done the one thing, but you want to do more. What next?

Here are recommendations for groups, mailing lists, blogs, and other entities that will give you more things to do.

The list is not comprehensive, and it’s not meant to be. Nor is it closed. Everything is OTYCD-approved. The blog relies on many of these sources when seeking and researching subjects for future posts.


Rogan’s List blog (

Susan Rogan will keep you as busy as you want to be. The retired university librarian’s blog gives you more than a dozen useful nuggets of information per day, from actions to tools to organizations to join, and more. Are you extra-eager to do more? Start here. The newest daily tends to go live around 9 am EST.


Flippable (

Flippable’s goal is to turn state and federal offices blue, one electoral race at a time. Its email list sends out one message per week that contains several action items. It’s especially good for learning about upcoming elections in state legislatures.


Movement to Oppose Trump (

The multi-talented Michael Skolnik releases a weekly action email with the does-just-what-it-says-on-the-box title Movement to Oppose Trump. It’s a smorgasboard of calls to action, pieces to read, resistance resources, upcoming events, social media accounts to follow, donations to make, finished with a music suggestion (late in January 2017, he pointed to Tupac’s Keep Ya Head Up).


Weekly Resistance to Trump (’

This web site sends a weekly email that recommends an action to take and a donation to make.


Wall-of-Us (

Another good site that produces a weekly email containing several action items.


While it’s not the most important thing you can do to push back against Trump, it’s certainly amusing to follow @HalfOnionInABag on Twitter. It’s just that–half an onion in a bag. Its goal is to get more followers than Donald Trump to show that having a big honking Twitter audience really doesn’t mean all that much if half an onion in a bag can meet or beat Trump’s.

Call Your House Rep · Call Your Members of Congress · Call Your Senators · Community Activism · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Save These Tools · Thank You Actions · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Follow Your Congressional Reps on Social Media

Are you active on social media, even a little bit? Are you thinking about signing on?

Please follow the pages and accounts of your Congressional representatives.

Pull up the web pages of your three Congressional reps–your two senators and your house rep. Social media platform logos tend to show up at the top of the home page or the bottom. If they’re not there, try the Contact page.

Most members of Congress are on Facebook and Twitter. If they’re on other platforms and you want to follow them there, go right ahead. But don’t feel like you must follow them on every platform. Do what makes sense for you.

If any of your reps are not on social media, or aren’t on the platform you like best, call their offices and ask them to join. You can bet there’s an intern or entry-level staffer who’s been chewing the rep’s ear off, trying to make their case. If enough constituents call to ask them to get on social media, or on a specific platform, that might change their minds.

Following your reps on social media is worth it. It keeps you up to date on what they’re saying and doing, and lets you know when they might appear at an event happening near you. It lets you show your support for them. And it helps move toward a world in which members of Congress take messages that arrive through social media as seriously as requests that come over the phone or through postal mail.

But don’t forget that for now (early 2017), social media is the least effective way to speak to your reps. If you need to ask your members of Congress to do something, use the phone. Do not use social media. Your message will not get through to them.

If you’re not on social media at all, consider signing up to follow your reps. You can have a private account on Twitter, and you can keep strict privacy settings on your Facebook page.

If you’re not on social media at all and have no wish to be, sign up for their e-newsletters and postal mailings instead, if you haven’t already. You should be able to do this through their web sites.