Ten Ways Progressives Can Save Our Democracy

On Friday, September 18th, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away after battling pancreatic Cancer. The passing of Justice Ginsburg jolted me like the last scene in Lady Gaga’s “911” music video, which was released that same day. Coincidence, right?

The stakes for the upcoming presidential election are alarming. We’ve been subjected to Trumpism (and torment) for the past four years, and it’s no surprise that our country’s divisions are deeper than ever. Our democracy is hanging by a thread while the rights of 330 million Americans hang in the balance all because of one person’s death. The chances of that were always so slim, but alas, here we are.

All of this is insanely outrageous, but this is our exact moment in American history. How do we move past this moment? The answer is clear: we must move forward with a movement. Nobody can save us except ourselves. It will take nationwide mass mobilization efforts to inspire and to motivate voters in order to turn out in record numbers. The more people who vote to reject Trump, the better the chances we can save our democracy.

Now is the time we take our country back. This is our moment. It’s time to get involved and get out the vote! Here are ten ways you can make a difference.

  1. Register to Vote or Check Your Voter Registration. As of 2018, there are approximately 153 million registered voters, which is a decrease from 2016’s approximately 157 million registered voters. Voters have been purged or removed from the voter rolls. People move and their registration doesn’t get updated. The Coronavirus has taken over 200,000 lives, and we know a portion of them were registered voters. Stop what you’re doing and register to vote or check your registration. Make sure to tell your family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, or social media acquaintances to do the same.
  2. Talk to Everyone in Your Life. Politics impacts the world around us and the people in it. From family to friends and from neighbors to coworkers, everyone in your life will be affected by the outcome of this election in some capacity. We already know that unemployment is still higher than it was before the pandemic and families are still being separated at the border. Those conversations are hard to have and could lead to altercations. I encourage you to check out these ten tips on how to talk about political differences
  3. Watch AOC’s Instagram Livestream. After hearing the news of RGB, I knew people were going to be heartbroken, frustrated, or hopeless. That night, many people were looking for answers. Fortunately, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (also know as AOC) spoke about it on her Instagram livestream. Her inspirational message combined with her solid talking points really makes one think. It’s 41 minutes long, and I highly recommend watching the whole damn thing. I hope this motivates you the way it has motivated me.
  4. Donate to the Movement Voter Project. According to its website, this group “works to strengthen progressive power at all levels of government by helping donors — big and small — support the best and most promising local community-based organizations in key states, with a focus on youth and communities of color.” This is the type of work that’s critical in key swing states. Last October, a group of friends and I held a Trivia Game Fundraiser for this group. I believe in this mission, and it could really make a difference in the election.
  5. Flip the Senate. The current occupant of the White House won’t have as much authority without a Senate majority. Sure, we still have the filibuster and he can write executive orders, but preventing a majority can weaken his control on our democracy. Depending on who gets elected, the results could dramatically change our political future. These are not endorsements — consider supporting the following Senate candidates:

    - Alaska: Al Gross
    - Arizona: Mark Kelly
    - Colorado: John Hickenlooper
    - Georgia: John Ossoff
    - Georgia: Raphael Warnock
    - Iowa: Theresa Greenfield
    - Kansas: Barbara Boiler
    - Kentucky: Amy McGrath
    - Maine: Sara Gideon
    - Michigan: Gary Peters
    - Montana: Steve Bullock
    - North Carolina: Cal Cunningham
    - South Carolina: Jaime Harrison
    - Tennessee: Marquita Bradsha
    - Texas: MJ Hegar
    - West Virginia: Paula Jean Swearengin
  6. Support the National LGBTQ+ Task Force. They’re a progressive LGBTQ+ driven non-profit organization committed to advancing full freedom, justice and equality for LGBTQ+ people. The Task Force trains and mobilizes millions of activists across the country. They’ve created a number of campaigns, such as Queer the Census and “All of Me. All the Time,” to engage LGBTQ+ Americans. I’ve had the pleasure of attending their NYC Pride event and a dinner party fundraiser. Both were great events, and I hope you get involved before November.
  7. Volunteer for Sister District. Sister District is a national organization that focuses on harnessing resources from blue states to help swing red or purple districts to blue at the state level. They’ve had a lot of success since they began in 2017. They’ve slowly been taking away Republican held seats in the state legislature in Pennsylvania and Virginia. Remember, it’s state legislatures that can directly impact the voting process, redistricting, and how our democracy functions. Find a local race in a state near you.
  8. Join Democratic Socialists of America. As the largest and fastest growing socialist organization out there, it’s truly a force to reckon with. Whether you’ve heard some very positive things or some very negative things, at the end of the day, the people I’ve met in this organization locally and nationally are truly in it for the betterment of this country. Find your local chapter and get involved.
  9. Vote for Down Ballot Progressive Candidates. There are hundreds of down ballot progressives running for every level of office imaginable. You’ll have to do your research to see if there’s a progressive running in your district or state. Better yet, donate or volunteer for their campaigns! If you’re a democratic socialist, consider supporting one of these DSA-endorsed candidates from around the country running in the general election on November 3rd.
  10. Settle for the Democratic Nominee. While I don’t particularly care for this year’s Democratic nominee in any shape or form, I understand that he and his VP pick may be able to win this election. Removing Trump from office is paramount. Our entire democracy depends on it. If they can actually pull this off, then I’ll be very impressed. If you want to get involved in their campaign, here’s the link.

The general election is on November 3, 2020. Make sure you either mail in an absentee ballot, vote early in person, or vote in person on the day of the election. Best of luck — we’re all gonna need it!

Former Candidate for District Leader. Organizer. Democratic Socialist. Queens County Committee Member representing AD36/ED31.

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