Testify!

“Who controls the past now controls the future
Who controls the present now controls the past
Who controls the past now controls the future
Who controls the present now?”

In 2008, when Barack Obama ran against John McCain, I was so excited to be witnessing such a glorious moment in history, that I took a day off from work, and I worked in a security-type capacity at the polls. That day was spent on my feet, for about 15 hours, helping people figure out if they were at the right polling site, making sure no campaigning was happening within 300 feet, etcetera. I was exhausted, my feet were on fire, and you know what? It was one of the most exhilarating days of my entire life. I loved being there to see long lines of voters, cheerfully waiting in the brisk weather, to cast let their voices be heard.

In last night’s elections, some other very historical moments took place: three openly trans people (two women, one man) were voted into elected positions, along with a Sikh man, and multiple black people are now holding elected spots that have never before been held by a black person. Women now occupy more local and state government seats, and democrats are flipping red seats blue.

One look at social media shows you that democrats are fired up, and many republicans are upset, and raging. Why this happened is pretty clear to most, if not all, voters, but the important thing we’re missing here is what caused these significant events: more people got out and voted. People fought against gerrymandering, suspected republican originating phone calls telling people their polling place has changed, and many more obstacles, and they got out and made sure their voices were counted, and they sent a very powerful message: we, The People, outright reject Trumpism, bigotry, hatred, divisiveness, cruelty.

Then I started thinking about what I could do to help make sure my own state’s residents got out and voted in record numbers, again. Many of you may be wondering what you can do, as well, and I hope you are, because in order to keep the now aptly named “blue wave” going, we must not rest. We have to keep pushing, and pushing.

So, what can you do? Well, if you’d like to volunteer to work a polling place, simply contact your state’s board of elections, by visiting USA.gov. If you’d rather work at getting people registered to vote:

Of course, using your social media accounts is also an enormous way to get the word out, help people understand where and when to register, vote, etcetera.

We can do this, everyone. We can make huge things happen during our state’s elections. If you’re hype about what happened last night, don’t let that feeling die. Get up, get out, and do something. Donate money, volunteer time, work a campaign, share on social media, all of the above, and more. Do whatever is in your power to do, and I promise you, when we win, the fruits of your labor will be so damn sweet. This is our time!

**Title and opening quote from the song “Testify” by Rage Against the Machine**

 

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