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

Leave Your House

If you’re going to effectively push back against Trump, you have to commit to leaving your house more than you might like. 

Robert Putnam’s 2001 book Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community, is a classic for good reason. He traces how civic and community engagement started falling in the 70s or so and continued to drop. He also examines many factors that might have contributed to the decline (increased TV-watching and longer commutes seem to matter). The data he gathers shows that the generation who lived through World War II were the last exceptionally engaged group of Americans. Their children (commonly called the Baby Boomers) somehow failed to follow their example, and the generations that followed the Boomers were even less engaged. This is a problem because widespread civic engagement is the gasoline that fuels democracy–it can’t function without it.

In a subsequent 2010 paper published in the Journal of Democracy, titled Still Bowling Alone? The Post 9/11 Split, Putnam and his co-author, Thomas H. Sander, note that people who were young during the 9/11 attacks–from elementary school to college-age–show more civic involvement. This is good news. (Scroll down for a link to this paper.)

Cataclysmic events that affect everyone, such as World War II and 9/11, seem to have a lasting impact in the form of greater civic engagement among those who live through them. Let’s be dead clear on this–the Trump administration is not on the order of those events, but the 2016 election shocked and mobilized millions of people into action, or into becoming more active than they had been.

Bowling Alone appeared in August 2001, before social media really took hold, but the book makes it clear that routine face-to-face engagement with other human beings is absolutely vital to the survival of democracy. This doesn’t mean that social media lacks value. It means that its greatest value is in cementing and enhancing relationships that also exist in the real world.

Which brings us to the headline of this post: Leave your house. If you’re reading this blog, you’ve done that already, if only to join the big national and international protests that happened throughout 2017. But you need to think about leaving your house on a semi-regular basis to push back against Trump. You need to show up and contribute to groups devoted to that cause, and you need to cultivate friendships that you make in those groups.

Putnam notes that the Rotarians, the Lions Club, the Odd Fellows, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and similar organizations were hemorrhaging members as the 20th century yielded to the 21st. If we work at it, we can ensure that the new anti-Trump groups–the Indivisibles, the Solidarities, and other local coalitions–rise to take their place and keep the garden of democracy watered and nourished.


Purchase and read Bowling Alone:


Read Putnam and Sander’s 2010 paper, which serves as a hopeful update to Bowling Alone:

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

Support Democrat Mai Khanh Tran’s Bid to Unseat California House Rep Ed Royce in 2018

Support Democrat Mai Khanh Tran in her effort to push longtime Republican incumbent Ed Royce out of his Congressional House seat in California in 2018.

Tran is a pediatrician who was among the last of the children airlifted from Vietnam. She worked her way through her Harvard undergraduate degree as a janitor. (Pell grants helped, too.) She went on to Dartmouth-Brown Medical School.

She was moved to run after the election when she ministered to a girl suffering from a brain tumor who would lose her insurance coverage if the Affordable Care Act was repealed, as Republicans were threatening to do. She herself is a two-time breast cancer survivor and became a mother at age 46 following eight rounds of IVF treatment.

Tran is going up against Republican Ed Royce, a 12-term House rep in California’s 39th District. The area and Orange County in general used to be a Republican stronghold, but it’s been gradually shifting blue. Tran hopes to take advantage of those facts, but she knows she faces a real fight.


See Tran’s campaign website, and scroll down for her bio and key issues:


Donate to Tran:


Like her on Facebook:


Follow her on Twitter:



See her 314 Action page:


See 314 Action’s Endorsed Candidates page:


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


See her Emily’s List page:


See all of the Emily’s List candidates:


Donate to Emily’s List:


Read more stories about Tran and her candidacy:


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

GOOD UPDATE: Democrat Cheryl Turpin Wins a Seat In The Virginia State Legislature

YES YES YES! This was a bit of a nail-biter, but Cheryl Turpin defeated Rocky Holcomb by 51 to 49 to take a seat in the Virginia state legislature. She had lost to him in a January special election.

Read more here (scroll down for results in Turpin’s race, district 85:


Read the original blog text here:

Support Democrat Cheryl Turpin’s run for the Virginia state legislature. The election happens 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.

If Turpin seems vaguely familiar, she should. She ran for the Virginia state legislature in a special election in early January and lost, earning 47 percent of the vote to Republican Rocky Holcomb’s 53 percent. She faces him again in November.

Turpin has served as a high school science teacher for 24 years. She supports full-day public kindergarten, a living wage, and defending the environment. She wants to encourage young entrepreneurs by offering them loans to start small businesses. She wants to expand broadband access. She supports overhauls of the state’s criminal justice and mental health systems. She would promote recycling. She would increase spending on infrastructure to improve roads and alleviate traffic jams.


See Turpin’s campaign website:


See her About page:


Donate to Turpin’s campaign:


Like her on Facebook:


Follow her on Twitter:



See 314 Action’s Endorsed Candidates page:


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


See her page on Ballotpedia:


See an old OTYCD post on Turpin and two other Virginia candidates in the January 2017 special election:


Read about the outcome of the January special election:

Action Alerts · Elections · Good News · Postcard Campaigns

GOOD UPDATE! Annette Taddeo WINS the Florida State Senate Seat, Flipping It From Red to Blue!

GOOD UPDATE! Annette Taddeo won the September 26 special election for the Florida State Senate race!

Taddeo won despite being up against a Republican who had name recognition from being on The Apprentice, and despite Governor Rick Scott’s refusal to reschedule the election after Hurricane Irma hit Florida.

Special thanks to Flippable and to those who wrote postcards to get out the vote for her!

Read about Taddeo’s win:


Original text of the post follows:

Help elect Democrat Annette Taddeo to the state senate of Florida on September 26, 2017, by sending postcards to GOTV, donating, or other actions.

Taddeo won the special primary election handily on July 25, claiming 70 percent of the vote. She is up against Republican Jose Felix Dias and Independent Christian “He-Man” Schlareth.

The seat, located in Miami-Dade county, opened in late April after the incumbent, Republican Frank Artiles, used a six-letter racial slur beginning with ‘n’ in a charged conversation that included two black Democratic state senate colleagues.

Our good friend Tony the Democrat has a postcard campaign to get out the vote for Taddeo. Participants receive addresses of individuals who have voted Democratic in the past. Please follow the rules and stick to the basic language that Tony will give you.


As always, you can text HELLO to Abby the Address Bot anytime. The number is:


484.ASK.ABBY aka 484.275.2229


You can request addresses via email as well:


Taddeo has earned the recommendations or endorsements of the Miami Herald and our friends at Flippable. She is a Colombian-born woman who runs her own translation business and has held high-ranking posts in the Democratic Party in Florida.

Taddeo opposes high-states testing and wants to protect public schools from having their budgets weakened and drained by initiatives from private, for-profit corporations. She wants to improve traffic in and around Miami-Dade by securing funding to improve the local infrastructure. She is committed to protecting the county’s drinking water from threats posed by fracking.


See Taddeo’s campaign site:


Read Flippable’s endorsement of Taddeo, and note its intel on the district, which they believe is trending blue:


Read the Miami Herald‘s recommendation of Taddeo (the piece covers several candidates, not just her):


Like her on Facebook:


Follow Taddeo on Twitter:



Donate to Annette Taddeo:


Read Ballotpedia’s entries on Taddeo and on Florida’s State Senate District 40:


Read about the meltdown that ended Frank Artiles’s state senate incumbency:

Action Alerts · Vote with your Dollars

Help OTYCD Build a Page of Resistance Market Links

Help us build a page of links to Resistance-themed merchandise that benefits worthy causes.

Recently we posted a story about “Nevertheless, She Persisted” products that directly benefit Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.

We would like to build a page of links to merchandise–hats, t-shirts, pussy hats, tote bags, and the like–that devote 100 percent of their profits to Resistance-relevant causes. Examples of worthy beneficiaries would be the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

If you know of any products that fit the brief, please email:

onethingyoucando    @

…and let us know about them. We’d like to have a reasonably-filled-out page ready to post by Thanksgiving 2017.

Action Alerts · Protect the Environment · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare

Uphold the Paris Climate Agreement (Yes, You Personally)

Learn what you, personally, can do to uphold the spirit of the Paris agreement on climate change.

On June 1, Trump announced that the United States would exit the Paris climate accord, making it one of just three nations–the others are Nicaragua and Syria–of 198 to sit it out. The Paris agreement calls for every nation to set goals to curtail its carbon emissions in the hopes of slowing or stopping the warming trend that climate scientists have documented. The U.S.’s individual goal was to reduce emissions between 26 and 28 percent from its 2005 levels by 2025.


Here’s just some of the things that you can do to push back against this short-sighted decision:


Call your members of Congress. But before you do, check their websites and social media and see where they stand on the issue.

Are they pushing back? Then thank them and tell them you support their actions.

Have they said nothing? Urge them to come out against Trump’s decision.

Are they for it? Say you have noticed their statements in favor and urge them to change their minds. If they refuse, prepare to spend time and money to get their opponents elected the next time they run for re-election, and tell them so.


Join the Sierra Club and sign up for its newsletter. They’re on top of environmental stuff in general and have done excellent work showing how ordinary citizens can push back against Trump’s environment-harming stances.


Ask your state governor to join the United States Climate Alliance. Launched on June 1, it’s a group of state leaders who have committed to upholding the spirit of the Paris agreement.

As of June 2, its official members include: California, New York, Washington state, Connecticut, Vermont, Oregon, Hawaii, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts (this last has a Republican governor, btw). Collectively, these states represent just over 27 percent of the country’s population, 31 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP), and a little over 14 percent of its carbon dioxide emissions (as of 2014).


If you live in a city, ask your mayor or city council leader to join the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda. Founded in 2014, it counts 180 participating mayors as of June 2. Together, they represent about 51 million Americans.

Scan the list in this Medium story and see if your mayor is among them.

You can also support the Global Covenant of Mayors, which unites mayors the world over in combatting climate change (scroll down for its info).


Support former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg’s efforts to nullify Trump’s wrongheaded decision. He’s forming and funding a larger group unites the efforts of the governors and mayors with those of business leaders and academic institutions. And on June 2, his self-named charity pledged to donate $15 million over two years to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.


Learn more about the Paris accord, and about the consequences of leaving it:

Learn 10 things you can do to uphold the Paris accord, per the Sierra Club:


Read about the United States Climate Alliance:


Visit the web page for the Climate Mayors:


Visit the web page for the Global Covenant of Mayors:


Read about Michael Bloomberg’s efforts to step up and lead when Trump won’t:




Action Alerts · Elections · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Support the HONR Network, Started By a Sandy Hook Victim’s Father, Which Defends Those Affected By Gun Violence and Terrorism

Support the HONR Network, an organization started by the father of a Sandy Hook student, which protects and defends the families of victims of headline-making gun violence and terrorism. 

Leonard Pozner got the worst news of his life on December 14, 2012–his son, Noah, was among the children killed at Sandy Hook. In a merciful world, that would have been the end of the horror he faced, but it was only the beginning. Immediately after the tragedy, he received harassing messages from self-appointed “truthers”–people convinced that the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax.

He was told that his little boy was a paid actor, recruited to deceive the public. That he didn’t die. That he never existed. Offering proof, such as releasing Noah’s death certificate, only made them double down on their conspiratorial thinking, and made them more determined to spread the “truth” as they understand it. And they have powerful advocates in the form of people such as radio host Alex Jones.

Fed up, Pozner started the HONR Network to fight back against determined harassers–people who stalk the survivors of headline-making acts of gun violence and terrorism and inflict more pain on them. It recently achieved a real punishment for Lucy Richards, a 57-year-old Sandy Hook truther who sent multiple threatening messages to Pozner. She pled guilty to sending threats through interstate communications and will serve five months in prison followed by five months of house arrest.

To be utterly clear on this–reading about the beliefs of Sandy Hook conspiracy theorists and their compatriots is not a crime. Interacting with them online is not a crime. Holding such beliefs is not, in and of itself, a crime. But if you hunt down the contact information of the family members of the victims and deliberately push your conspiracy theories in their faces over and over and over again, you’ve crossed a line, and consequences could follow.

The HONR Network seeks to raise $200,000 to pursue those who are harassing the families of victims. As of mid-June 2017, it had raised about $13,000.


See the HONR Network’s website:


Donate to the HONR Network GoFundMe:


Follow the HONR Network on Twitter:



Like it on Facebook:


Read about what Pozner and his HONR Network friends are up against (this Cracked story inspired this OTYCD post):


Read about the sentence levied against Lucy Richards: