I won’t lie: I’m bummed about many of the election results. If you pay attention to my posts, you’ve probably noticed that I tend to lean a little to the left. But I’m also a realist. For as strongly as I may feel about certain issues, there are more people who voted who disagree with me. If you celebrated on election night, sit back and relax in your hot bubblebath of victory.
For the rest of us, it’s time to get to work. Although I will admit I spent much of November 5th in my pajamas and eating chocolate (I called it my Election Hangover), I know we only have time for one day of moping around.
The people our state sent back to office have an agenda, and if it doesn’t match ours, we need to set ourselves to the task of protecting our interests, and those of thousands of others now left vulnerable to cuts to public services.
Too often we get hyper involved around elections and then once the “big event” passes by, we go back to our daily lives and forget about the issues. You and I both know that’s not how you advance a movement. Real change has to be a part of our daily habit. The people in power need to know we’re paying attention.
So – how do you do it? Where do we start?
- Stay educated. Read the paper and read blogs.
- Share what you know. It’s the social media age, ladies. If you read something that makes you think or provides perspective on what’s happening, share it with your friends on Facebook or Twitter.
- Be annoying. When your lawmakers do something you don’t like, call them. Write them. Meet with them. Post on Facebook about them. Trust me, for every one of us willing to take the time to do that, there are thousands who are not.
- Run for office. Yep, I said it; the ultimate action if you think your elected representative is out of touch. Sure, it takes a few years, dollars, and some experience to campaign for some elected positions, but there are also numerous local offices where you can enact change right away — and who knows where that might lead you. Ruth Ann Minner, the former governor of Delaware, went from a single mom with a GED to governor of a state. I had the pleasure of spending the day with her several years ago while she was in office. All I can say if we had more people like her, with real hands-on experience with what it takes to support a family today, we’d be in much better shape as a country.
So if you didn’t like the election results, use that as motivation to participate even more in the democratic process. How many Ruth Ann’s are there hiding in the communities of North Carolina? If we can find them, and advance them – we just might have a different story to tell as a state in 2016.