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Start a 2018 Fund

This OTYCD entry originally posted in January 2017, but with the mid-terms approaching and the stakes rising, we are reposting past posts that discuss key things you can do to push back against Trump. And yes, even if you only start saving now, and only save $2 per week, it still matters and can still have an effect.

 

Start saving two dollars a week to fund political actions that will shape the 2018 midterms.

 

It doesn’t have to be two dollars. You can save more if you want. If you’re struggling, find a sum you can comfortably set aside, even if it’s just a quarter.

 

If you start saving two dollars per week now, you should have about one hundred set aside when the 2018 primaries crest the horizon.

 

The point is to develop the habit of squirreling away something every week to support your political efforts. You can define ‘political efforts’ as broadly as you wish. You can draw on your stash to donate to Congressional candidates. You can give to Planned Parenthood, Emily’s List, the Sierra Club, the Southern Poverty Law Center, or dozens of other worthy organizations that matter to you. Or you can use it as seed money for your own run for local office.

 

Budget for politics just as you’d budget for Christmas, or tithes, or a down payment on a house. Think long-term. Put away something every week, no matter how small.

 

 

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Community Activism · Elections · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Smoke Out Your Friends Who Didn’t Vote Last Year, and Cultivate Them

This OTYCD entry originally posted in April 2017, but with the mid-terms approaching and the stakes rising, we are reposting past posts that discuss key things you can do to push back against Trump.

 

Start a slow, quiet campaign to identify your friends who didn’t vote for president last November, and cultivate them with an eye toward getting them to the polls in 2018 and 2020.

 

One of the more shocking facts from the 2016 election was how few people voted. According to numbers from the United States Election Project, 59.3 percent of eligible voters turned out and cast a ballot for the president. (60 percent showed up and voted for something; the 0.7 percent gap represents people who voted but did not vote for president.)

 

That’s stupid-crazy low for an advanced democracy like America’s. Pitiable, in fact. Yet it’s actually a better turnout than 2012, which tallied 58.6 percent of eligible voters, and it might be the best electoral turnout recorded between 1972 and 2000.

 

Voter turnout needs to improve. Two out of five eligible voters stayed home. If more of those abstainers had come out, we might not be in the mess we’re in today. If you’re mad at Clinton’s narrow loss to Trump, don’t vent your rage on people who voted for Jill Stein and Gary Johnson–at least they went to the polls. Point your ire at the 40 percent of voters who never made it.

 

Ok, we’re joking about that–don’t actually get mad at them. At least some wanted to cast a ballot, but could not. That said, we’re on watch for articles that explain why people who can vote don’t vote, and why they say they chose to stay home in 2016. When we find them, we’ll post about them.

 

Here’s what we know right now. According to 538, voters who stayed home in 2016 probably cost Clinton the election:

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/registered-voters-who-stayed-home-probably-cost-clinton-the-election/

 

In particular, turnout was low among young people (aged 18-29) and non-whites.

 

The silver lining to this? We know that Democratic-leaning and left-leaning people were less likely to go to the polls. You, personally, can help fix that.

 

Think about your friends. Do you know who among them did not vote? The math says that you probably have at least some non-voters in your midst. Maybe more than 60 percent of your friends voted, but not all of them.

 

If you know which of your friends did not vote, look for opportunities to discuss it with them. Don’t do this in a punitive way! Simply ask if they voted, and if they say no, ask why. Keep your tone of voice neutral.

 

If it’s something as simple as not being registered, or not having a ride to the polls, do what you can to remove those obstacles. The web site below will tell your friend if they’re registered to vote in their state:

http://www.canivote.org

 

If they are not registered, do what you can to help them register. If they would have voted if they had had transportation to the polls, make plans for 2018–see if you can give them a ride personally, or arrange for a cab.

 

If they had other reasons for not voting–they don’t think their vote matters, they didn’t like the candidates, they don’t trust the system, etc.–just keep talking to them. Don’t always talk politics–see to it that about 80 percent of the time, you talk about something else. And when you do talk politics, only occasionally talk about voting.

 

Build and strengthen your relationship with your non-voting friends with an eye on the coming 2018 race, and with the hopes of enticing those people to come with you to vote in the midterms.

 

 

See the full 2016 election numbers, compiled by the United States Election Project. It includes grand totals and state-by-state breakdowns:

http://www.electproject.org/2016g

 

 

Bookmark this page from the ElectProject site, which lists links to the boards of elections for all 50 states and the District of Columbia (scroll down a bit):

http://www.electproject.org/useful-election-links

 

 

See a 2012 piece on 538 that gives numbers on the 2012 turnout:

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/no-voter-turnout-wasnt-way-down-from-2012/

 

 

Follow professor Michael P McDonald, the polysci guy behind the United States Election Project, on Twitter:

@ElectProject

 

 

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!

Community Activism · Elections · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Get Ready. 2018 Is… Here!

This OTYCD entry originally posted in January 2017.

 

Read this Vox piece on how the Republican party went from a smoking ruin in January 2009 to controlling the House, the Senate, the Presidency, and dozens of state legislatures eight years later.

 

If they did it, the Democrats can do it. Stepping up and voting in the 2018 midterms will be key.

 

http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/1/3/13976258/midterm-elections-2018-explained

 

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!

Community Activism · Elections · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Smoke Out Your Friends Who Didn’t Vote Last Year, and Cultivate Them

This OTYCD entry originally posted in April 2017.

Start a slow, quiet campaign to identify your friends who didn’t vote for president last November, and cultivate them with an eye toward getting them to the polls in 2018 and 2020.

One of the more shocking facts from the 2016 election was how few people voted. According to numbers from the United States Election Project, 59.3 percent of eligible voters turned out and cast a ballot for the president. (60 percent showed up and voted for something; the 0.7 percent gap represents people who voted but did not vote for president.)

That’s stupid-crazy low for an advanced democracy like America’s. Pitiable, in fact. Yet it’s actually a better turnout than 2012, which tallied 58.6 percent of eligible voters, and it might be the best electoral turnout recorded between 1972 and 2000.

Voter turnout needs to improve. Two out of five eligible voters stayed home. If more of those abstainers had come out, we might not be in the mess we’re in today. If you’re mad at Clinton’s narrow loss to Trump, don’t vent your rage on people who voted for Jill Stein and Gary Johnson–at least they went to the polls. Point your ire at the 40 percent of voters who never made it.

Ok, we’re joking about that–don’t actually get mad at them. At least some wanted to cast a ballot, but could not. That said, we’re on watch for articles that explain why people who can vote don’t vote, and why they say they chose to stay home in 2016. When we find them, we’ll post about them.

Here’s what we know right now. According to 538, voters who stayed home in 2016 probably cost Clinton the election:

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/registered-voters-who-stayed-home-probably-cost-clinton-the-election/

In particular, turnout was low among young people (aged 18-29) and non-whites.

The silver lining to this? We know that Democratic-leaning and left-leaning people were less likely to go to the polls. You, personally, can help fix that.

Think about your friends. Do you know who among them did not vote? The math says that you probably have at least some non-voters in your midst. Maybe more than 60 percent of your friends voted, but not all of them.

If you know which of your friends did not vote, look for opportunities to discuss it with them. Don’t do this in a punitive way! Simply ask if they voted, and if they say no, ask why. Keep your tone of voice neutral.

If it’s something as simple as not being registered, or not having a ride to the polls, do what you can to remove those obstacles. The web site below will tell your friend if they’re registered to vote in their state:

http://www.canivote.org

If they are not registered, do what you can to help them register. If they would have voted if they had had transportation to the polls, make plans for 2018–see if you can give them a ride personally, or arrange for a cab.

If they had other reasons for not voting–they don’t think their vote matters, they didn’t like the candidates, they don’t trust the system, etc.–just keep talking to them. Don’t always talk politics–see to it that about 80 percent of the time, you talk about something else. And when you do talk politics, only occasionally talk about voting.

Build and strengthen your relationship with your non-voting friends with an eye on the coming 2018 race, and with the hopes of enticing those people to come with you to vote in the midterms.

 

See the full 2016 election numbers, compiled by the United States Election Project. It includes grand totals and state-by-state breakdowns:

http://www.electproject.org/2016g

 

Bookmark this page from the ElectProject site, which lists links to the boards of elections for all 50 states and the District of Columbia (scroll down a bit):

http://www.electproject.org/useful-election-links

 

See a 2012 piece on 538 that gives numbers on the 2012 turnout:

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/no-voter-turnout-wasnt-way-down-from-2012/

 

Follow professor Michael P McDonald, the polysci guy behind the United States Election Project, on Twitter:

@ElectProject