In the age of Trump, more and more Americans are aware of government and we want to stay vigilant. Civic engagement is a crucial part of being a citizen, but the halls of Congress can feel far away, and legislation can be impenetrable. It’s so important to be informed, and there are a number of valuable tools that can help you do that.
1. Find your representatives with Whoaremyprepresentatives.org.
It’s ok if you don’t know who represents you yet (especially if you’ve never voted) and you are certainly not alone. Now is the time to change that. Check out whoaremyrepresentatives.org. Enter your address and zip code and you’ll get a list of all of your elected representatives.
Get to know these people and what they stand for, if you know how much good or bad work your reps are doing in your name, it’s a lot harder to skip an election.
2. Stay up to date with political updates and breakdowns with the Resistance Manual.
The Resistance Manual is a Wikipedia-style open resource that’s constantly being updated on policy issues both nationally and locally. If you don’t know what budget reconciliation is, or want to know what is being done to fight Trump’s immigration policies, you will find it here.
Bookmark it, make it your homepage and you will always be aware of what’s happening in the resistance. There is also an extensive list of background readings, organizations, and resources for everything from protest information to self-care for activists.
3. Follow legislation with Countable.
While the official Congress.org is a useful tool, it can be clunky and hard to use. That’s where countable comes in. You sign up with your zip code and opt into notifications when your representative votes on or sponsors legislation. Countable also features information on legislation and compiles arguments for or against bills provided by journalists, legislators, activists and countable users.
4. Find a place to volunteer your time with Volunteer Match.
You may have time to volunteer, but don’t know where your help is needed in your area. Volunteer match will match you with local opportunities based on your interests and location. Service to your community is a great way to remain involved and help in a way that is edifying and helps you connect with activists face to face.
Stay Woke is a project from the Movement for Black Lives that starts with a simple survey about your interests, abilities, and ideas for organizing in support of Black Lives. It allows organizers to reach out to respondents to get involved where and when they can and serves as a means of collecting new ideas about how to reach people with their message.