Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Robert Reich: What to do right now!

"Several of you have asked me what, specifically, you can do to get America back on track. Letters and petitions are fine, and with enough people joining in they can have an impact. But citizen activism doesn't start or end there. For what it's worth, here's my five-step plan.

"Step 1. Turn off the television or stop watching videos. Hopefully this will free up some time.

"Step 2. Become better informed about what the regressives are doing in your community, your state, and in Washington; what the Koch brothers, ALEC, and other regressive agents are doing; what big corporations and Wall Street are blocking or lobbying for; what's happening to jobs and wages, to the environment, and what the military-industrial-congressional complex is up to. And who's running for office -- in your community, state assembly and senate district, congressional district, statehouse, president.

"Step 3. Connect up with and organize others in your community, city, or region. You might find them through social media, your state chapter of Common Cause, "Organize for America," Occupy, or other progressive organizations. Then arrange for or find time and place of face-to-face meet-ups to plan strategy for fighting back on a specific issue (redistricting, reversing Citizens United, etc.), supporting a specific candidate, or blocking a specific candidate.

"Step 4. Get directly involved in a campaign -- an issue campaign, or an electoral campaign. At federal level, keep 2014 especially in mind because the congressional midterms are particularly important, and now is the seed-time for primary candidates. Consider whether you'd be willing to run yourself -- for school board, city council, county supervisor, state assembly, congressional office -- or, if not, whether you can coax into running someone you think would be terrific at it, who has the right values and commitment.

"Step 5: Organize and mobilize -- and don't stop. This is a long-term battle that will extend far beyond the next campaign. Fortify yourself and others against setbacks and defeats. Understand that nothing is more important that regaining our democracy." -- Robert Reich 8/7/13 ~ PL

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