2022 is the year to protect our democracy. It’s urgent, and all hands on deck.
Each of us has a role. You can choose how to get involved, depending on your available time (have 5 minutes? 20? half a day?) and your preferences (like to bang out emails? prefer talking to people? enjoy social media?).
Pick an action a month, get friends to join you, and know you are saving our democracy. Mix and match! Month assignments are only notional.
January – Strengthening Voting Rights
- Join a voter registration drive or a candlelight vigil on January 6th to take back that day for democracy.
- Email your Members of Congress about supporting Voting Rights legislation. Even if they are already doing the right thing, they need to hear that you have their back. Letters only need to be 2-3 sentences. Members of Congress mostly just tally what side you’re on, so letters don’t need to be well crafted. Just make your voice heard. Find your representatives here.
- Write similar letters to the editor of your local paper. Even if they don’t print what you say, they track viewpoints that come in and then assign issue coverage accordingly. Common Cause holds occasional virtual letter writing parties at which they give tips.
February – Combatting mis and dis-information
- Donate (large or small amounts!) to support local journalism as local papers tend to cover local issues that are less polarized than national ones; the Knight Foundation has a program to support local news.
- Help publicize (on Facebook or Twitter, through conversation) Leadership Now’s call for companies to not fund the 147 legislators who voted against certifying election results – and decry those companies which have quietly gone back to funding these peoples’ campaigns
- Tweet at broadcast and print journalists when they make false equivalency statements or use messaging phrases which feed misconceptions. For instance, correct talk hosts or members of Congress when you hear them use term “gun control“ in lieu of “gun violence prevention“ or “gun safety.”
- Hold accountable GOP leaders who knew about coup attempt by naming and shaming in traditional and social media – particularly if they are in your district or state.
March – Strengthening Election Infrastructure Before Primary Elections
- Become a poll worker or a poll observer for both primaries and general election in 2022, and recruit friends. From the Hold the Line Guide: Poll workers help voters check in, understand their ballots, and cast their vote. Fewer poll workers mean fewer polling places, and/or polling places that run more slowly. To ensure adequate in-person polling stations, sign up to be a poll worker by visiting www.powerthepolls.org. Many of these positions are paid!
- Let your governor, state attorney general, state legislators, secretary of state know that you expect them to count all votes and respect the wishes of the voters. Write a letter, ideally signed by a group or collection of groups. Then send a copy of that letter to your local media, letting media know you’re watching this issue. Get their contact information
- Reach out to your local level election officials to find out what support they need. Many are volunteers struggling with threats to their personal safety, a deluge of misinformation, and partisan pressure to corrupt the system. Let them know you want to support them and find out from them directly what help they need. Contact information is
- Publicly urge candidates for local races to pledge not to use hate or inciting speech, and let the media know you’ve done this and are watching candidates’ speech.
April – Empowering Voters
- Register voters. It’s going to take massive numbers to hold and win seats, and to send the message that GOP power grabs are not acceptable. The battleground states of PA, WI, MI have Democratic governors up in 2022. Check out Swing Left’s 10-year state-level strategy.
- Phonebank or write postcards to urge people to vote in the primaries.
May – Ensuring Free and Fair Elections
- Write or call your local sheriff or police chief, urging them to protect election officials
- Write or meet local level leaders to ask them to uphold norms of nonviolence and respect for all voices as the primaries and general elections get underway. If possible, do this via a church group, Rotary, or other organization.
June – Supporting Inclusive, Democratic Participation
- Support good candidates at the local level. Now more than ever we see the importance of school board, county sheriff, and other local offices. Your money and time go farther for these candidates than federal ones, and if you get people out to vote for a school board candidate, those voters will definitely vote for higher level offices. The reverse is not always true…
- Talk/post in ways that norm non-violence and call out violent behavior. Annie Andrew’s tweet is great example, countering Rep. Massie (R-KY-04)’s tweet of his family holding guns around the Christmas tree.
— Karen Pataky, Director, Public Policy Committee