In quarantine, we have learned to rely on the digital space to not only interact with our friends, family, and work, but also to keep up with community news, organizations who are making change, and policies. We have also learned that social media is a great place to learn more about politicians and their stances, for better or worse. Now that the vaccine is rolling out in Utah (thanks, scientists!) it’s time to re-examine what we’re doing with scrolling and double-tapping.
Yes, using our own platforms to raise more awareness for a cause and organization is always good, but after spending an entire year looking at screens, some of us are ready to move beyond the digital sphere and get into more real-world action.
A great way to get involved is to work within your community and gain first-hand understanding about a cause, organization, or politician, then share that knowledge with your networks. You can do this by going out and organizing small events like rallies or town halls. You can also form or join a group to start fighting for the cause at the municipal level. The municipal—or local—government directly impacts our communities more than any other level of government. Issues like recycling, local roads & walkways, schools, and policing all happen at the local level.
For those with extra time to give, volunteering is another great way to get more involved.
You can volunteer for many different causes, organizations, and elections. Volunteering can be done in a wide variety of ways, including data entry, tabling at events, phone banking, and going door to door for a candidate. November 2021 is a municipal election year, which means some of your local city council members and mayors may be up for election soon! If you’re interested in making positive change for your community, getting involved in a municipal election and supporting a local candidate is a great way to dip your toes in volunteerism and elections!
If you feel comfortable enough, you can attend events.
Attending events wasn’t even possible last year. So this year many organizations and groups are ready to go. Going to their events not only makes for a good weekend activity, but they are also great opportunities to meet new and like-minded people. Meeting people who support your cause and want to push for change is a great way to build your own community and forge lasting friendships. You get to interact with organizers and really see how they are helping the community. Events are a great way for organizers to receive donations.
And of course, donate if you have the means.
I know last year was not easy for a lot of people, financially. So donating is not an option for most, but if you can then it really does help out organizations and people running for office. Some groups are only able to do their work because of donations, so every single dollar really helps them out. It is a great way to stay involved if you don’t have the time to give. Even donating $1 can help. Do what you can to support the cause and the campaign.
For anyone new to politics who is looking to jump away from the digital space and into the real world, these are just a few of the ways to get more involved than just following and liking a page.
Wear a mask and respect physical distancing. Take action, be safe, and take the next step to creating a better Utah!
If you want more ideas on how to get involved, keep a lookout for our sister org, Better Utah Institutes’s, new Civic Engagement toolkit coming out soon!