Congratulations and Welcome!
Congratulations, because we know how hard it is to start working in political activism. And most importantly WELCOME to the most diverse group of volunteers you will ever meet. We would like to invite everyone to review some useful links for researching politics in Arizona.
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Local politics and activism
1. Know who your local legislators and politicians are
2. Know how to get in touch with them (and actually make them listen.)
3. Identify an issue you care about and pursue it
Looking for some inspiration? Here is a comprehensive list of current social issues to get you started.
4. Attend town hall meetings
A town hall is where you(in person or on zoom) can make your actual voice heard, in front of local politicians who can actually do something about it. Your congressperson will usually have a schedule of Town Hall meetings on their website, or you can check out your city’s website as well.
5. Attend City Council meetings
Attend a City Council meeting to get an up-close view of what’s important to your city’s legislators.
- Mesa City Council Meeting schedule.
- Chandler City Council Meeting information.
- Tempe City Council Meeting agendas, schedules and minutes.
6. Get to know your local School Board
If you have kids in school, you probably need to know about your school board. Here’s everything about what a school board does and how you can get involved.
7. Join your local PTA
Not only can you have a direct communication with your school, you can also volunteer and participate in other ways that directly impact your community. Here’s how (and why) to join.
8. Mobilize more people to support your cause
You alone can you make a difference. But imagine, a dozen or more of you working together on an important social justice issue. Organizing a group together to do any of the above things; attend meetings or join an association, will magnify your cause.
9. Volunteer with a non-partisan group working on issues that align with your values.
These groups are aggressively successful in recruiting, as they are usually focused on one issue at a time.
- Voter Choice Arizona works exclusively on bringing Ranked Choice Voting to Arizona. This is a good way to meet organizers and legislators, and to learn how citizen lead initiatives are run.
- League of Women Voters have been been advocating for expanding voting rights.
10. Research the differences between U.S. politic parties and find how your personal beliefs align with politics.
Take the quiz and find out which groups align with your own values and beliefs.
Here’s a list of established political parties, along with their missions and contact information.
11. Join a campaign
If you find a local politician who represents the change you want to see in your community, contact their office to figure out how you can get involved in the campaign! Maybe they’ll have you stuff mailers or put up signs or some other boring task, but the boring tasks is what actually gets stuff done. Volunteering at any level is valuable to your candidate.
12. Volunteer at their headquarters
Like we said, your state, city and county have party headquarters that are just waiting for your time and energy. Just give it a Google. They WANT you to help out, so it’s not that hard to find. If you’d rather stay at home, you can most likely take part in digital activism: Sending newsletters or text messages or organizing online campaigns.
13. Attend or organize rallies and events
Just make sure you’re safe and lawful. Alternately, there are always political talks and events going on, probably in your area. AZ Roots Event Calendar.
14. Pound the pavement
If you want to influence people, you’re going to have to actually go out and, you know, MEET the people you want to influence. Here’s a good article from the New York Times on why this method actually works.
15. Volunteer to work at a polling place
To start, you can get registered on the Election Assistance Commission’s website.
16. Volunteer to register voters
If you can’t find what you’re looking for, simple search for your city and state, along with “voter registration drive.”
Make sure you’re registered. And do it in every election, not just the big ones.
18. Subscribe to a paper or other publication you believe in
If you’re unhappy with journalism or media coverage, find a publication that represents good journalism to you. Click on it often. Pay for a subscription. Support it any way you can.
19. Read up on American history and civics
USA.gov is your best friend. There’s history and civics there, but it’s just the beginning. Here’s a link to the National Constitution Center where you can read a word-for-word breakdown of the document. Here’s a link to the American History section of the Library of Congress. Go crazy.
20. Share that knowledge
Have discussions with your friends and family. Engage in respectful debate when appropriate (and no, that doesn’t mean on Facebook timelines). Spread the word.
21. Volunteer at a place that benefits your community
Ideally, you can align your volunteer work with your most important causes. Volunteer at church, at the local VA hospital, at a homeless shelter or at a school. The possibilities are endless, but this website is a good place to start.
22. Volunteer at a museum, state or national park, cultural center or historical society
Volunteering isn’t just about serving others, it’s also about making sure the organizations that are important to you can continue to serve others.
23. Hell, GO to a museum, state or national park, or historical society
SUPPORT. EDUCATION. IN ALL. FORMS.
At the very least, if you just do not have time to spare, and would like to let your wallet do the talking. We recommend that you complete thorough research on a specific charity or political candidate to make sure your money is being well-used.
25. Get off the internet
Complaining on social media only gets you so far. Get out, meet people, use your hands and your time.
Source Credit: CNN Article: 25 Ways to be more politically active.
Additional Research Sites
Livable Wage Research: Find living wages by state.
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