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Statue of Justice on the Augusta County Courthouse

Take Action

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. 

Easy

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. We have yard signs for Democratic candidates in a variety of sizes and formats. To request yard signs, drop by our office (10AM-2PM Saturdays) or reach out to yard-signs@staunton-democrats.care.

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.

Medium

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

You can submit a letter to the News Leader here, or the News Virginian here. Want to write something longer? Try an op ed, at an outlet like the Virginia Mercury.

Contact your representatives

Contacting your representatives can move the needle on specific policies. Read some tips for contacting your representatives here or here, and then reach out:

Local

State

Federal

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:

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Difficult

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 nominations@staunton-democrats.care.

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 outreach@staunton-democrats.care.

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