It’s been a very interesting 6 days since Trump took office.
I can’t say I agree with everything he’s doing which is why I am committed to taking action against it. As a private citizen who is not involved in politics, there isn’t much I CAN do, and add to it a stay-at-home-mom of 2 and that knocks out the majority of what I would be able to do to make my voice heard (such as join in on protests or go to evening townhalls).
So here’s what I have been doing.
I have been reading all I can about what policies Trump wants to put in place, what executive orders he has signed, and what is going on in many different areas around the US, even ones I haven’t necessarily shown interest in before.
I’ve been reading multiple stories about the same topics to see what information is repeated and therefore probably the most reliable.
Once I’ve found the things I’m concerned about, for example the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (and most importantly the able to get coverage when you have a pre-existing condition as this affects my family directly), I write myself a little script I use for when I contact my representatives.
I’ve been contacting my senators almost daily to let them know they have my support (those that do) or don’t have my support (if they don’t) on certain issues I am passionate about. I have been calling their offices daily and leaving messages with staffers or on their voicemails.
At first it was a little nerve wracking to be calling a senator’s office, but once I made my first call it was no longer scary. I spoke with a very nice staffer who listened to my concerns and allowed me to list off a number of things I wanted to share with the senator. (I also told myself that I’m probably one of the nicer phone calls they get and therefore if I stumbled over my words a bit that really wasn’t going to be their focus.)
I found some great tips online from a political writer, Sarah Kendzior, who shared this on her Twitter page: https://twitter.com/sarahkendzior/status/824309899890831362
- CALL – don’t bother writing.
- Call your Senator’s DC offices AND local offices, as well as your Representative’s two offices for a total of 6 calls per day.
- Give them your zip code.
- Keep it to 1-2 items each day.
- Make it as personal as you can (share a story about how it affects your life).
- Be clear on what you want.
- Don’t care if they get sick of your calling.
I suggest reading her entire post as there is more detail.
I was also told by a staffer that although we can’t do anything about executive orders, we can make our opinions known so that should the representative have the opportunity to vote in the future on that topic, they will know how their constituents feel.
If you feel a bit helpless under all the weight of this political situation, it may make you feel like you have some control after you make a few phone calls. At least there’s a person on the other end who is listening to you and taking notes. And who knows, maybe it might actually make a difference.