Keep the Government Working for You: How to change the country

February 4, 2017

 

With Donald Trump as our new president, uncertainty of the future of our country is not an opinion, but a fact of life for many Americans. With a historically low approval rating of 40% pre-inauguration, and Republican majority in the national House of Representatives and Senate, an apprehensive and uncertain feeling is widespread of the era of Trump.
 
Traditionally, the first 100 days of a presidency is called “The Honeymoon Period,” where the media, the other branches of government, and the people at large are more lenient of the new President as he tackles his biggest promises. However, with strong backlash already plaguing the 45th president, there is speculation of how much will actually be accomplished in the first 100 days.
 
Mr. Trump has made large assurances of his plans, including the Mexico border wall, eradicating ISIL, tax reform, and more. Will he deliver?
 
Whatever party you align with, the assurance of democracy and keeping government working for you is essential. You are not powerless, nor all powerful, however persistence combined with passion will result in a better country for all of us. Here is how to change the country:
 
1.     Do your research!
            
You may be passionate about a subject, but without evidence to back it up there can be no change. Look for unbiased sources to find your facts. For example, here is an article by Politico outlining what to expect in the first 100 days.
 
2.     Download Countable.
 
Stay up to date of what congress is talking about, and send your opinions straight to your legislators straight from the service via email. The app and website are free, and is the easiest way to be informed plus make your position known.
            
3.     Contact your state legislators.
 
If you want to go farther, contact your legislators directly. For the Boston University area, here is the contact information:
 

  • William N. Brownsberger

    • Senator (Democrat)

    • Phone: 617-722-1280

    • Email:William.Brownsberger@masenate.gov

 

  • Sonia Chang-Diaz

    • Senator (Democrat)

    • Phone: 617-722-1673

    • Email: Sonia.Chang-Diaz@masenate.gov

 

  • Kevin G. Honan

    • Representative (Democrat)

    • Phone: 617-722-2470

    • Email: Kevin.Honan@mahouse.gov

 

  • Jay D. Livingstone

    • Representative (Democrat)

    • Phone: 617-722-2396

    • Email:Jay.Livingstone@mahouse.gov

 

  • Michael J. Moran

    • Representative (Democrat)

    • Phone: 617-722-2014

    • Email:Michael.Moran@mahouse.gov

 

  • Byron Rushing

    • Representative (Democrat)

    • Phone: 617-722-2783

    • Email:Byron.Rushing@mahouse.gov

 

  • Jeffrey Sánchez

    • Representative (Democrat)

    • Phone: 617-722-2430

    • Email:Jeffrey.sanchez@mahouse.gov

 

  • Chynah Tyler

    • Representative (Democrat)

    • Phone: 617-722-2425

    • Email: Chynah.Tyler@mahouse.gov

 
 
4.     Contact your national legislators.
 

For the Boston University area, these are the following legislators:
            

  • Michael Capuano

    • Representative (Democrat)

    • Phone: (617) 621-6208

    • Email and other information: http://capuano.house.gov/ (fill out the email form)

 

  • Edward J. Markey

    • Senator (Democrat)

    • Phone: (202) 224-2742

    • Email and other information: www.markey.senate.gov/contact

 

  • Elizabeth Warren

    • Senator (Democrat)

    • Phone: (202) 224-4543

    • Email and other information: www.warren.senate.gov/?p=email_senator

 
5.     Donate and support.
            
Whether it is Planned Parenthood or the NRA, supporting organizations that align with your ideals is essential to democracy. Support how you can, with money or time. Also, don’t forget to protect journalists and the media as fake news is abounding. Share only fact-checked sources, unbiased media, and support the Committee to Protect Journalists.
 
6.     VOTE!
 
Perhaps the most important of all is to VOTE. Midterm elections are in November of 2018, so start paying attention to emerging candidacies and campaigns. Be educated, and make your voice heard!
 
Being a democratic republic requires the political activity of its people. Without your opinion, legislators will make decisions based on personal beliefs (another substantive reason to vote in midterm elections), and the opinions of paid lobbyists. These are not the only ways to be involved either. Running for office yourself, working on a campaign staff, attending city hall meetings, or even having civil, open-minded conversations on social media are ways to promote political awareness and change. Most importantly of all is to find the fickle balance of being respectful of others opinions while still holding your own. 

 

The bottom line is that the United States is in a critically divisive state that will absolutely be detrimental to our country. Without finding common ground, our country is certainly heading to a frightening state of “us versus them.” The way towards unity is voicing opinions, and being willing to compromise on details.

 

Awareness of issues plus action equals change. Do not stay silent about policies that oppose your values. Here’s to the future of the United States of America, an informed and representative nation. 
 

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