I attended a town hall meeting last night. I even got up to speak. I am not one to do such a thing. Throw myself into a room full of people I’ve never met and then stand at a podium and talk into a microphone? Hell no. Not me.
But I went. I overcame that fear and I went.
There were a handful of us from the public, but most everyone else held some type of office. It was pretty empty overall. Three of us from the public got up to speak. I went last.
I’m not going to reiterate everything I said, but I will say that I left even more inspired. Every single member of my local government lent me their ear. They made direct eye contact with me. Every single one of them spoke directly to me. They listened.
I implore you, go to your town hall meetings. Get the know the people who represent you. Ask them questions. Tell them your fears, your worries. Tell them what you would like to see changed. Tell them what they’re doing correctly. Tell them what they could do better. Thank them. And if they’re NOT doing what you want, tell them that. And then when the time comes, vote for someone else.
We need to become more active on a local level. I learned that from Bernie Sanders.
I know so little about what’s going on around me. It’s truly embarrassing. And it’s all my fault. I take responsibility for it. Democrats typically have terrible turnouts when it comes to local elections. We need to show up and we need to know who it is we’re showing up to vote for. I have been so bad at this. No more.
If you’re liberal and you live in a conservative town, go to your town halls. Demystify the fear you have of “the other”. If you’re a conservative, sit across the table with someone who is liberal. Other than a few very heated topics (abortion, gun ownership, etc.) we are also very similar. We have the same fears; we have the same concerns; we have the same basic needs.
Get off Facebook and actually TALK to people. More importantly, listen.
Do something that scares you.
What I did last night scared the shit out of me. I even told them as much. I started off by saying, “I’ll make this brief because, quite frankly, this terrifies me. Public speaking terrifies me. I’ve never done anything like this before, but I simply can’t remain quiet anymore. I need to get involved. I need you to help me.”
Today I’m going to call my local representative and ask that he NOT allow Bannon to hold any position at the White House. I can’t undo a Trump win, but I might have a say in whether a racist, antisemite works at the White House. I implore you to do the same. Here is the entire directory of the House of Representatives.
Don’t normalize this.
Use your voice.