Politics The World

Five indispensable tools to help you join the resistance movement

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

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 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.

An example of a Resistance Manual page detailing Federal Government actions on the Muslim / Immigration Ban

3. Follow legislation with Countable.

While the official 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.

5. Fight racism and police violence with Stay Woke.

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.


Senior News & Society Editor Asma Elgamal launches Policy channel to face the new political era

2016 was a tough year. In looking at the global political landscape, 2016 presented us with events like Brexit and the Trump administration, propelling hate groups into mainstream platforms and frankly terrifying the hell out of some of us.

[bctt tweet=”In times like these, the most powerful thing we can do is equip ourselves with knowledge.” username=”wearethetempest”]

Social activism hit a new high, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat – all became tools to resist and to make our voices heard. But even that sometimes, isn’t enough. As horrific as it is, a lot of the awful things that have been happening are completely legal. It’s like Hydra has infiltrated the highest levels and we are playing a very tricky game of dismantling policies while pretending that evil isn’t currently reigning over us.

“In times like these, the most powerful thing we can do is equip ourselves with knowledge,” Elgamal noted.

Like most things governmental, policies are shrouded in technical language, used to make things complex and drawn out. Some policies and legislation are incredibly long and honestly, that kind of information is not appealing to read. Although it’s super important to know what laws govern us, who really has the time to go through all these new documents to ascertain what is going on?

It’s hard to speak out against something that we don’t really understand.

So to help us deal with the aftermath, Asma Elgamal, our Senior News & Society Editor at The Tempest decided to approach things in a different way, launching the Policy channel at The Tempest.

Elgamal said, “The sole purpose of this vertical is to target and help decipher laws and policies so that everyone knows exactly what is going on. The aim of this is so that it is easier to understand which policies affect you and what they set out to do. In turn, preparing us for doing whatever is necessary to combat these policies.” Read more about The Tempest’s Policy vertical here.