The most impactful way to help out the Democrats' cause is to join the SDC. Whether you want to commit 30 minutes every once in a while or 20 hours a week, joining the SDC lets you combine efforts with a team of like-minded Democrats who are more than the sum of our parts. Don't feel like joining yet? Here are some other actions you can take:
Get informed about the issues
Informing yourself -- about both how government works and what the issues are -- can help you to be much more effective in advocating for causes that are important to you. Reading the news is a great place to start, but if you want to go more in depth, think tanks like the Urban Institute, the Brookings Institution, and the Center for American Progress do great work. If you want to learn what policies the Committee supports and why, check out our blog. (Reading the US and Virginia constitutions is also a good idea, if you haven't for a while).
Register, make a plan, and vote
Voting is the basic, bare-minimum degree of civic engagement -- if you are an eligible citizen, it's the baseline way to engage with the democratic process and make your voice heard. Voting is quick and easy, and you can check your registration, register, and request a mail-in ballot online through the Department of Elections citizen portal.
Put a sign in your yard
It's a strange quirk of human psychology that people are more likely to do something if they think everyone else is doing it. That's why putting a sign in your yard is a simple but effective way to help out candidates and causes you support. Currently, yard signs are available for Democratic causes; when campaign season starts, we'll also have signs for candidates. To request yard signs, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Speak out on social media
Speaking out on social media isn't the most effective form of political engagement -- not by a long shot. But it does help, because it puts progressive policy messages in front of people, in the voice of someone they trust. Consider sharing content from the SDC, like our blog, Facebook posts, and Instagram posts, and content from prominent Democrats.
Encourage your friends to vote
Prompts from friends are one of the most powerful ways to encourage people to vote. Reach out anytime – including now – to make sure your friends are registered to vote. Closer to the election (say, in September), encourage them to make a plan for when and how they'll vote, because having a plan makes it much more likely they'll actually follow through. For bonus points, follow up with them to ensure they actually voted.
Write a letter to the editor
You can make your voice heard through a letter to the editor of a local publication, on any issue that matters to you. Some tips:
Focus on a specific issue
Plan out your letter
Combine a personal story with facts and figures
Before submitting, revise, and cut out anything that isn't essential
Contact your representatives
Volunteer for a campaign
Campaigns will be in perpetual need of volunteers from summer to election day. To be informed as soon as there are campaigns seeking volunteers, sign up for our newsletter below:
Run for public office
Running for office isn't for everyone. It does take work. But it's also one of the most impactful things you can do to make our government work better. To discuss running, figure out what office is right for you, and get advice on where to start, reach out to email@example.com.
Organize a demonstration
When people come together to make their voices heard, they can be far more impactful together than they ever would separately. Progressives in Staunton have held demonstrations on issues from police reform to the need for saner gun policy, and organizing one is surprisingly doable. For help, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.