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Let Laura M. Browning Teach You to Check Facts

Let Laura M. Browning teach you to check facts.

April Fool’s Day is a perennial pain-in-the-butt for sites like OTYCD. Facts matter, and we don’t want to risk posting a story that could be taken as a prank.

We’re going to play it as safe as we can by reworking a post from April 2017 about how to fact-check.

The link below will take you to a Google doc from 2017 written by Laura M. Browning, a professional copy editor who has trained others to check facts. She titled the document Fact-checking in the Age of Trumpism for obvious reasons, but its strength and validity hasn’t diminished one bit now that Trump has left the Oval Office.

Read Laura M. Browning’s deft, incisive, and blessedly short (barely five pages) paper on how to fact-check:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1E0m6GEQwwTnOk3-mWrC6zZs60wDJBh9IH-yfpl3TRvM/edit#

Follow Laura M. Browning on Twitter:

@ellembee

Also see a 2016 NPR story with the creator of fake news who claimed that left-leaning readers were harder to trick:

https://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2016/11/23/503146770/npr-finds-the-head-of-a-covert-fake-news-operation-in-the-suburbs

And here are links to Snopes and Politifact, which Browning recommends in the paper:

https://www.snopes.com

https://www.politifact.com

Lastly, if you’re deathly curious to read what we originally wrote about Browning’s paper, here’s the 2017 story:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/03/27/learn-how-to-fact-check-in-the-age-of-trumpism-thanks-to-laura-m-browning/

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TODAY is the FEC Q1 Deadline–Donate to Your Favorite 2022 Candidates Before Midnight

Today is the Federal Election Commission (FEC) Q1 deadline–donate to your favorite 2022 candidates before midnight.

During previous electoral cycles, OTYCD readers learned about the power and importance of FEC quarterly deadlines.

The numbers represent temperature checks on candidates for office. Good numbers launch a virtuous cycle that attract additional big-dollar donors to commit based on the quarterly fundraising reports.

Why draw your attention to the Q1 2021 deadline? Because traditionally, midterm elections have gone against the party of the sitting president. Congressional chambers flip in midterms.

As you read this, Democrats have a single-digit seat advantage in the House of Representatives and hold the Senate by virtue of having Vice President Kamala Harris available to cast a tie-breaking vote.

Yes, you should rest more this year than you did in 2020, a year that allowed little rest at all. But this is not an electoral off-year. With Trumpism far from dead, there’s no such thing. There are no more off-years, only less-intense years.

If you’ve built out your Core Four Plus for 2022 as much as you can, please consider making a donation to your chosen candidates, or making an additional booster donation before midnight.

If you can’t afford to donate to candidates right now, signal boost the Q1 donation deadline on social media and encourage others to give to solid Democratic incumbents and challengers.

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Tell Your MoCs That You Saw Their Social Media Posts

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

This OTYCD story originally ran in December 2018. Read it here:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/12/07/tell-your-mocs-that-you-saw-their-social-media-posts/

Already did this? Did as much as you can with this? Don’t want to do this today? Check here and also here:

https://onethingyoucando.com/want-to-do-more/

https://onethingyoucando.com/your-2021-to-do-list-there-are-no-more-off-years-only-less-intense-years/

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Support Spread the Vote, Which Helps Citizens Obtain IDs

This OTYCD entry originally posted in July 2017.

Support Spread the Vote, an organization that helps citizens access the ballot by obtaining IDs that their states require.

Read the story here:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2020/07/19/support-spread-the-vote-which-helps-citizens-obtain-ids-6/

Already did this? Did as much as you can with this? Don’t want to do this today? Check here and also here:

https://onethingyoucando.com/want-to-do-more/

https://onethingyoucando.com/your-2021-to-do-list-there-are-no-more-off-years-only-less-intense-years/

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Join Showing Up for Racial Justice and Become a Better Ally

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.

This OTYCD story originally ran in February 2019. Click to read:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2019/02/10/join-showing-up-for-racial-justice-and-become-a-better-ally/

Already did this? Did as much as you can with this? Don’t want to do this today? Check here and also here:

https://onethingyoucando.com/want-to-do-more/

https://onethingyoucando.com/your-2021-to-do-list-there-are-no-more-off-years-only-less-intense-years/

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!

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Sign Up for a Health Insurance Plan at Healthcare.gov During a Special Enrollment Period Announced by President Biden

Sign up for a health insurance plan at Healthcare.gov during a special enrollment period announced by President Biden.

We originally published this OTYCD story in mid-February, after Biden announced it. We will re-run the story at least once a month until the special enrollment period ends on May 15, 2021.

Read the story here:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2021/02/16/sign-up-for-a-health-insurance-plan-at-healthcare-gov-during-a-special-enrollment-period-president-biden-just-announced/

Already did this? Did as much as you can with this? Don’t want to do this today? Check here and also here:

https://onethingyoucando.com/want-to-do-more/

https://onethingyoucando.com/your-2021-to-do-list-there-are-no-more-off-years-only-less-intense-years/

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!

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Learn Who Your Secretary of State Is

Learn who your current Secretary of State is–the person who is usually responsible for overseeing elections.

Sure, you know who represents you in Congress and in your state legislature. But there are other elected state officials who affect your life.

The Secretary of State (a job title that’s styled as “Secretary of the Commonwealth” in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia) should get more attention.

As of January 2020, a total of 40 Secretaries of State also serve as the Chief State Election Official–the person who oversees elections.

As with United States Governors, these officials have their own organization: the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS).

And as with the governors, the NASS website maintains a page that displays the photographs of all current Secretaries of State, along with information about each.

It doesn’t offer capsule biographies but it does identify which Secretaries of State also oversee their state’s elections.

The page also gives public contact information for each official.

See the current list of serving Secretaries of State, as featured on the dedicated NASS page:

https://www.nass.org/membership

Bookmark the page to find your own Secretary of State, and to find those of your chosen Swing State and Red State.

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Learn If You Have Local Off-Year Elections

Learn if you have local off-year elections.

Is 2021 an off-year for elections? That might not be true for you on the local level.

When we say “the local level”, we mean elected offices such as the mayor, city council members, planning board, school board, and the like.

Finding out what’s going on is harder than finding out what’s going on at the federal and the state level. You have to look to local resources, and local resources will vary. It will require some work on your part.

You can find out by searching the archives of your local newspaper for phrases such as “2019 <city or town name> election” and see if results come back.

You can try calling the electoral office at your city or town hall or pulling up its website.

Your municipal library’s help desk might be able to tell you, too.

Check the directory at Run for Something, searching on your home state, and see what comes back:

https://directory.runforsomething.net/candidates/

If you have no off-year elections in 2021, consider getting involved with Democratic candidates for the state legislatures in Virginia or New Jersey.

And if you do have elections? You know what to do.

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Learn Who Your State Attorney General Is

Learn who your state attorney general (AG) is.

Your AG is the most important legal authority in your state.

He or she enters lawsuits on your behalf, including high-profile ones such as efforts to stop the Trump administration from removing Obama-era health care protections from LGBTQ patients; suing the United States Postal Service to reverse changes made by Postmaster Louis DeJoy; and suing Facebook to break up its monopoly on social media.

It’s a good idea to know who your state AG is.

Just like current U.S. governors and secretaries of state, the state AGs have their own organization: the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG).

It maintains a page that shows photographs of all current state AGs. Clicking on an AG’s picture takes you to a biography of the person, along with their office street address, phone number, and website link.

See the state AGs page on the NAAG site:

Bookmark the page to easily look up your own state AG, as well as the state AGs of your chosen Swing State and Red State.

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Learn Who Your State Governor Is

Who’s the current governor of your state? Visit this website and find out.

There’s an organization for everything, and sitting United States governors have their own.

It’s called (imagine a drum roll here) the National Governors Association (NGA).

The NGA has done us all a service by listing and providing pictures of all current governors in the United States, in alphabetical order.

See every governor of the United States of America here:

If you click on a governor, you’ll go to a page that gives you a capsule biography that includes how long they’ve served in office; their birth date; name of their spouse; their party affiliation, and their public contact information–phone number, website, etc.

Bookmark the page to find your own governor, and the governors of the Swing State and the Red State that you choose to adopt.

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!