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Learn to Help Friends and Family Who Want to Do More Than Register to Vote

This OTYCD post originally appeared in July 2018.

 

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 6, 2018.

 

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):

https://onethingyoucando.com/the-most-important-thing-you-can-do/

 

 

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:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/04/16/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:

https://bluevirginia.us/2018/06/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:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/04/08/choose-your-core-four-for-2018/

 

 

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!

 

 

Action Alerts · Community Activism · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

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:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hollaback-bystander-intervention-digital-training-tickets-33624094572

 

 

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

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8L8vf0joWhQZE9WZHNtSnMxWk0/view

 

 

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:

http://www.collectiveactiondc.org/our-work/trainings-workshops/

 

 

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

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2017/05/max_heros_last_words_tell_ever.html

 

 

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

http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2017/06/02/after_portland_bystander_intervention_training_is_more_important_than_ever.html

 

Community Activism · Health Care · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare

Learn to Use a Tourniquet, and Carry One With You, Just In Case

Learn to use a tourniquet, and carry one with you, just in case.

 

Former Senator and full-time Republican fool Rick Santorum was deservedly smothered under a heap of scorn in March 2018 after suggesting that students should learn cardio-pulminary resuscitation (CPR) in case they found themselves and their friends under attack in a school shooting.

 

Several doctors slammed Santorum for obvious idiocy, but Jo Buyske, executive director of the American Board of Surgery, summed it up best in a tweet that said, “Mr. Santorum, CPR doesn’t work if all the blood is on the ground.”

 

Santorum’s underlying impulse wasn’t wrong. Knowing what to do in a borked situation can help you get through it. He just reached for the wrong solution.

 

The best way to stop all the blood from pooling on the ground is to apply a tourniquet. It’s a temporary solution that stops a victim from bleeding out before medical help can arrive.

 

Granted, a tourniquet can be as useless as CPR when a victim has been shot multiple times by an assailant wielding an AR-15. But someone who’s been wounded in an arm or a leg could live to tell the tale if someone ties on a tourniquet in time.

 

Applying a tourniquet is a skill that needs to be learned. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you can make things worse.

 

First, you need to purchase a tourniquet. The Combat Application Tourniquet (CAT) is well-regarded, as is the SOF Tactical Tourniquet-Wide (SOFTT-W). Both are available through Rescue Essentials.

 

 

The CAT:

https://www.rescue-essentials.com/combat-application-tourniquet-c-a-t-tactical-black-gen-7/

 

 

The SOFTT-W:

https://www.rescue-essentials.com/softt-w-generation-4-tourniquet/

 

 

Then you need to learn how to apply a tourniquet. Here’s a page from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) website, written by Dr. David R. King, who tended to victims of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing:

https://giving.massgeneral.org/tourniquet-use-instructions/

 

 

You can also review the instructions offered by Stop the Bleeding, a government-sponsored awareness campaign launched in 2015 to encourage everyday people to teach themselves how to handle a bleeding emergency before medical help arrives:

https://www.dhs.gov/stopthebleed

 

 

If you have a bit more to spend, you might consider a Concealed Carry Trauma Kit, which contains a tourniquet as well as a pair of gloves and a hemostatic agent–a substance that stops bleeding. The kit is designed to fit in a back pocket (hence the reference to ‘concealed carry’).

https://www.rescue-essentials.com/concealed-carry-trauma-kit/

 

 

Read about Rick Santorum making a damn fool of himself and getting flayed by doctors who know better:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/03/26/doctors-assure-rick-santorum-learning-cpr-wont-save-mass-shooting-victims/?utm_term=.0e9c26efa749

https://www.thedailybeast.com/doctors-slam-rick-santorum-for-suggesting-kids-learn-cpr-instead-of-protesting

 

 

Also, read an October 2017 WBUR interview with a volunteer from Stop the Bleeding on the power of the tourniquet:

http://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2017/10/18/tourniquet-blood-loss

 

 

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!

Action Alerts · Community Activism

Support the Rise Stronger Network

Support Rise Stronger, which is fostering and encouraging a network of politically engaged communities that will hold government accountable at every level.

Rise Stronger was founded in the wake of the 2016 election. It’s a citizen watchdog organization that cultivates grassroots actions and serves as a sort of umbrella for groups, foundations, and other outposts that are devoted to civic engagement and empowering American citizens to speak up and push back.

Among its offerings is a calendar, calls to action, and an interactive directory, dubbed the United States of Resistance, designed to introduce groups to each other and help them gain strength through their numbers.

 

See the Rise Stronger website:

https://www.risestronger.org

 

Find a Rise Stronger chapter near you:

https://www.risestronger.org/state_chapters

 

Sign up for its newsletter:

https://risestronger.org/newsroom/wearetheresistance

 

Become a member of Rise Stronger:

https://www.risestronger.org/sign_up

 

Volunteer with Rise Stronger:

https://risestronger.org/newsroom/join-the-resistance-volunteer-with-rise-stronger

 

Like it on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/RISEStronger.org

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@RISE_Stronger

 

Donate to Rise Stronger:

https://risestronger.org/donate

Community Activism

Set Aside an Afternoon and Plunge Into the Resistance Manual

Set aside an afternoon or so and dig into the Resistance Manual, a Wiki-like project of Stay Woke.

 

We at OTYCD came across the Resistance Manual while hunting for other stuff and boy, this needs a signal boost.

 

The Resistance Manual will eat an afternoon of your time at least, but it’s worth it. It has tons of information that you want and that you didn’t know you wanted.

 

Start with the bar on the left of the home page and see what catches your attention. It can point you to a page of information about what’s going on in your home state, from elections to voting rights to disability rights to climate change to worker’s rights to civil liberties and a heck of a lot more.

 

It will point you to useful info such as the minimum wage in your state, what percentage of state residents are disabled, how much electricity used by your state comes from renewable sources, how many abortion providers your state has, how much your state spends per public school student, and how many homeless people your state has.

 

That’s just one page.

 

The Resistance Manual also devotes whole sections to the Muslim travel ban, Trumpcare/Obamacare, Immigration, Crisis Resources, and upcoming events.

 

 

See the Resistance Manual website:

https://www.resistancemanual.org/Resistance_Manual_Home

 

 

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!

 

 

Donate to StayWoke, which built and maintains the Resistance Manual:

https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/staywoke-1

 

 

See the StayWoke homepage:

https://www.staywoke.org/about/

Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare

Read The Privilege to Shut Up, An Essay On Whether And When to Talk to Police

Read The Privilege to Shut Up, a powerful essay on whether and when to talk to the police.

Originally published in January 2014 on Popehat, the well-known group blog, and authored by Ken White, it covers the dangers of speaking with the cops, and the reasons why you shouldn’t say much more beyond asking for a lawyer. White advocates for staying mum.

He also acknowledges that you could suffer consequences for exercising your right to stay silent, and he acknowledges that the consequences can be tougher for people who are neither white nor affluent.

This is a strong article on a worthy blog. It’s worth bookmarking.

 

Read The Privilege to Shut Up:

https://www.popehat.com/2014/01/15/the-privilege-to-shut-up/

 

Like Popehat on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Popehat-99844985854/

 

Follow Popehat on Twitter:

@Popehat

 

Community Activism · Ethics · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare

Read There Is No Good Card For This: What to Say and Do When Life Is Scary, Awful, and Unfair to People You Love

Read There Is No Good Card for This: What to Say and Do When Life is Scary, Awful, and Unfair to People You Love, by Kelsey Crowe and Emily McDowell.

 

TINGCFT might seem like a not-quite-on-topic choice for a political blog, but bear with us. It’s a great textbook on how to have awkward conversations, how to listen, and how not to be a jerk–skills that are ever more precious and valuable in the time of Trump.

 

McDowell is the genius behind a series of greeting cards that you’d actually want to send to someone who’s going through hell but still has a sense of humor. Crowe holds a doctorate in social welfare, and founded Help Each Other Out, which teaches people how to avoid being the person who ghosts or says and does unhelpful things when bad stuff happens to friends and family.

 

The whole book is a gem, but in particular, it goes over how to help people in the grip of illness, fertility issues, divorce, unemployment, and grief.

 

Some general takeaways:

 

It’s better to do something than nothing. Saying ‘I’m sorry’ is doing something.

Remember it’s about them, not you. Don’t make their problem about you.

Listen.

Your kindness is your credential.

The person who needs help may not respond to your overture the way you’d expect. Don’t hold that against them, and don’t let their response deter you from helping others.

 

 

Buy There Is No Good Card for This at great independent book stores such as The Strand or Powell’s:

http://www.strandbooks.com/index.cfm

http://www.powells.com/book/there-is-no-good-card-for-this-9780062469991/1-5

 

 

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!