The Only Resolution that Matters for 2018: Get Involved

To build a thriving democracy, society, and economy, we need to fight for what we believe. No more sitting on the sidelines.

Some old-school voting…

1. Know

Find out who your representatives are at every level — national, state, town. I have two U.S. Senators, one congressman, one state senator, one state representative, one first selectman (mayor), and 21 local district representatives. I’ll admit that 12 months ago, I couldn’t easily name every one of them. But besides the local reps, these people are all google-able in seconds. So find yours (and get to know Ballotpedia, an amazing resource). Next, put their phone numbers in your contacts and find them on Twitter and Facebook. Follow them.

2. Educate (yourself)

Ok, you know your reps, but do you know what they stand for or what they have voted for? Many organizations rate politicians on how they’ve voted — the League of Conservation Voters, the NRA, or That’s My Congress. Dig into their methodology a bit to see how they rated people and why.

3. Vote

Vote every time — in primaries and in off-year elections (my record on this is ok, not perfect). And remember, every vote matters. Look at what’s going on in that VA state race right now. It’s tied and puts control of the entire state legislature “in limbo” over a single vote. That’s remarkable.

4. Connect

Make your voice heard outside the ballot box. Many groups will text you about pressing issues to call your reps about. See Daily Action and 5Calls, for example.

5. Join

Find out about your local party organization (may I suggest your local Democratic party?). Find your closest Indivisible chapter. Go to meetings.

6. Donate

Yes, political movements need money. Support the party, candidates in swing districts (even small amounts matter), and organizations defending our rights and shared resources (e.g., ACLU, SPLC, and environmental groups).

7. Engage (others)

This is more about the emotional challenge than it is about time. We must talk to our neighbors and encourage them to get them to the polls. If your local political machinery isn’t doing a good job of this, go back to #5 and foment for change. We have to take responsibility for our neighborhoods and talk to everyone. Turnout is everything.

8. Run

This is the big one. In November, I ran for my town legislature and I’m now one of those 21 people in my district. I’m also running next week to be a delegate on the Democratic Town Committee (DTC).

9. Vote

Every time. It’s worth repeating.

Fyi, my running list of priorities for policy at all levels.

I believe we need to build, together:

  • A welcoming economic environment for business that creates opportunities for good jobs
  • A cleaner economy based on fast-growing and better technologies like renewable energy, electric vehicles, and efficient buildings
  • Robust public infrastructure (roads, rail, public transit, water systems, and the grid)
  • Voting laws that do not gerrymander or suppress the voting rights of other citizens
  • A judicial and legal system without prejudice
  • Strong schools that prepare our kids for the global challenges of the 21st century
  • Protections for the elderly and more the vulnerable members of society
  • Communities that are prepared for ever-increasing extreme weather and a changing climate
  • Governments at all levels that operate efficiently and reduce waste, but promote the greater good and do not place efficiency above any of the other priorities
  • Freedom to go to public spaces or to send your kids to school knowing that there are laws in place to reduce the public health threat of guns — a level of threat felt in no other developed country.
  • Freedom to breathe clean air and drink clean water and enjoy a stable climate

Adviser, author, speaker on how businesses can (profitably) solve the world's mega-challenges. Author: The Big Pivot & Green to Gold