Basking In The Afterglow: Thoughts On Activism One Week After The Election

I wanted to make a quick post in regards to last week’s election.

For many women, including myself, election results were not only encouraging but a breath of fresh air that we all needed after 2016’s general election.

A Few Highlights Worth Celebrating:

  • Seattle, WA elected its first openly lesbian mayor
  • Charlotte, NC elected its first female black mayor
  • A Vietnamese refugee was the first Asian-American woman to be elected to the Virginia House of Delegates

The past few weeks have brought a lot of women’s issues to center stage. Everything from the Harvey Weinstein revelations to hundreds of women coming forward with accusations of harassment and assault from well-known men. The #metoo hashtag gave some much-needed attention to something that women have had to deal with as part of their everyday lives for too long now.

These issues are not new to me, or most women for that matter. Even from my own experience, feminism isn’t taken seriously enough in society. And the fact that it’s started to gain some traction in the recent political sphere is long overdue, although risks being tossed to the wayside all too quickly if we aren’t careful.

taking action one week after the election. bernicerayhollins.com

There’s Still Work to Do

We can and should celebrate the victories. But we cannot allow ourselves to become complacent. An attitude of complacency is what resulted in the outcome of the 2016 election.

Now, more than ever, we have to come together in our communities to ensure this progressive wave continues.

Taking Action

If we want to continue on this path of electing women into office and shining the spotlight on the issues women face, we have to get involved and stay involved. And it starts at a local level.

Here are just a few of the ways you can get involved locally:

  • Encourage people to register. Get your friends and family registered to vote. Then when it’s election time – pester them to get out there and actually vote.
  • Go to meetings. Attend the meetings of your local party leaders as well as town hall and community meetings. It’s an excellent opportunity to meet your local representatives, have your voice heard, and network with your community.
  • Support a local candidate. Do you know how many offensive candidates are elected simply because they run unopposed? Contact your local party office, find out if anyone is running in local elections, and see what you can do to get involved, sponsor a candidate, or even run for office yourself.
  • Volunteer. Stuff envelopes, canvas neighborhoods, make phone calls – there are so many things you can do to help out your local party office.
  • Stay informed. Even though it can feel overwhelming (especially this year!) keep yourself current on what’s going on in local and national politics. Read articles from trusted news organizations and be willing to have political conversations with your friends and family – even if they don’t have the same views as you.

It takes commitment, but with continued effort from an impassioned community, individuals can make a real, tangible difference. How are you planning on staying involved leading up to the 2018 election?

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