Don’t be fooled by those who throw their hands up in the air saying, “There’s nothing we can do about it!” when it comes to issues we care about. There are things everyone can do right now and none of us should wait until the next election to act. I’ve broken some advocacy tasks into lists designated by levels of effort required—Minimal, Medium, and More—with organized local groups Together Oklahoma (TOK) and ACTION Tulsa (Allied Communities of Tulsa Inspiring Our Neighborhoods) in mind.
“Take it easy, but take it.” – Woody Guthrie
Use these lists as a tool to guide your advocacy efforts and return to it to complete actions as you are able. Every advocacy effort is important!
Minimal effort advocacy:
- Give yourself credit for what you do! You are reading this now and that is much more than some.
- Sign up for the Together Oklahoma (TOK) weekly email and receive the weekly TOK blog-post and other action information.
- Join the All Souls ACTION Facebook group for the latest information from All Souls ACTION.
- Register to vote and if you’re already registered help someone else register.
- Look up your two state legislators at senate.gov and put their contact info in your phone.
- Send a message to your legislators via form letter or form email.
- Send your legislator a brief personalized email about a specific bill. Use this handy template to make it even more easy.
“As your constituent living at _______ . I am writing to ask that you please vote no/yes on bill_____ that will do _____ for/to me and my family.”
- Tell at least one other person that you are doing advocacy work with TOK or another organized effort like ACTION Tulsa. Start with telling friends who care but may need a little encouragement to do more.
- Remind someone who is scared about Oklahoma’s political climate that they have the power to make change.
- Follow Together Oklahoma on Facebook or Twitter and share their posts. Easy as pie!
If you’re ready to be engaged in a way that that requires just a smidgen more effort, these Medium effort tasks are for you. Do them solo or with a group!
Medium effort advocacy:
- Check out an All Souls ACTION meeting. All Souls is a proud partner of ACTION Tulsa and the All Souls group meets the first Sunday of the month, 1:30 to 3:00 p.m.
- Attend a TOK or ACTION Tulsa meeting. The world is run by those who show up so if you show up, you are doing more than most. Find events on togetherok.org and at actiontulsa.nationbuilder.com.
- Sign up to volunteer via the Together Oklahoma membership form on our website so we can know where you are and what you might want to do. Like grandma said, “Many hands make light work.”
- Attend a “Day at the Capitol” event with TOK or another organization. These events are fun and an easy introduction to communicating with your legislators face-to-face. Some Capitol Days are planned better than others and planners will often welcome help from volunteers.
Ready to take a deeper plunge? Here are some ways you can have more individual impact. More effort tasks demand that you get serious about self-care and advocate/personal life balance.
More effort advocacy:
- Attend an All Souls ACTION Civics 101 Class! From Clicktivism to Activism is Wednesday, September 27! As part of our Wednesday Connections, classes are at 7:00 p.m. and are free for our members and friends!
- Develop a one-to-one relationship with your legislators. If you really want them to understand where you are coming from, then they have to know you.
- Get to know legislative assistants because they are the gatekeepers to your legislators.
- Join a Together Oklahoma committee to do Events Planning, Communications, Research, and Outreach. Complete the membership form at togetherok.org.
- Volunteer to coordinate parts of the Together Oklahoma team on either a state-wide or local basis.
- Keep a constant trickle of information flowing. Touching base with your legislators and your TOK or ACTION team members as little as once a week can have much more impact than one big event per month.
- Remember that a leader is someone who can deliver a following. Sharing the Together Oklahoma tools, like the weekly blog post establishes you as someone dependable who can help lead the way.
- Practice good self-care so you can be able to stay the course. We need you take care of you and remind others to do so too.
There are lots of other ways to get involved but these ones are important and you can do one or several today. You don’t have to do all of these tasks, but as Oklahomans we have a responsibility to at least be doing some of this advocacy work.
Thanks for doing what you can do. We are in this together.
Kara Joy McKee
Adapted from togetherok.org
To learn more about All Souls ACTION and ACTION Tulsa, read Building to Action from member Deanna Tirrell.