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1 YEAR AFTER THE ELECTION: WHY POLITICS STILL MATTER AND HOW TO GET MORE ACTIVE

Knit a pink hat & take to the streets today!

It seems just like yesterday that the country was buzzing about the presidential election of 2016. For many, there was hope that we would see the first female President of the United States in Hillary Clinton. However, there was also a bitter divide in our nation—about Hillary, about her Republican opponent Donald Trump, about the third-party candidates, about the issues at stake and the candidates’ stances on them. In the end, Trump was the one elected as the country’s 45th President.

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Since that fateful evening in November, a lot has happened in our country. We’ve seen discord within our own people and in our government and witnessed terrorism in a few forms. Issues like health care, immigration, and foreign relations have been front and center in our news cycle. No matter where you stand in the political spectrum, we all can agree that things have been overwhelming.

However, there have been some glimmers of optimism. Most notably, the Women’s March in January brought out an estimated strong 3.2 million people out on the streets to stand up for equality (And you can bet that we at VINA were among them!) It’s important to remember that our government works for us and we the people are their bosses. As citizens, we hold so much power than we think we do.

As we pass the one-year mark of one of the most heated elections of our lifetime, our voices and actions matter more than ever. If you’re looking to get involved in shaping the future of our country, it’s never too late. Here are some places to start.

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Resist Bot This nifty AI-powered tool allows you to text and message your Senators, representatives, governor, and President from your mobile messenger and Facebook messenger. Simply enter “Resist” and the bot will look up your officials based on your address and send a note to them based on what you write. Resist Bot makes it so easy and effortless to contact those in our government.

Indivisible is a movement aiming to fuel a progressive grassroots network of local groups to resist the Trump Agenda. The movement initiated in 2016 with the online publication of Google Doc written by Congressional staffers with tips on how to peacefully but effectively resist the move to the right in the executive branch of the United States government. They adopt Tea Party techniques, but wield them for good. Get involved!

Americans of Conscience After the election, Jennifer Hofmann feared for her rights. She also feared for the rights of her Black, Muslim and Latino friends. So, she created a checklist for Americans of Conscience. Sign up for the weekly newsletter to get clear and hype-free actions to support democracy, freedom and equality for all Americans. No partisanship. No yelling. No fear-mongering. No vilifying allowed.

Women’s March You may remember the pink knitted hats and the nearly 4 million women who took to the streets right after the election? We certainly do! But while the first Women’s March was the largest single protest in US history, it’s important to remember the movement continues today. Today, Women’s March is a women-led movement that works to provide intersectional education on a diverse range of issues. It also creates entry points for new grassroots activists. So grab a knitted hat, find a local chapter, and take to the streets today!

Emily’s List knows the importance of choice. They aim to elect more pro-choice women into office. Donate $2 $20 or $2000 today to ensure that women who believe in the power of choice get into office!

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It’s also important to never forget the power of calling, emailing, texting, and writing to your Senators and representatives! They have real power, but don’t forget YOU give them that power. So do your bit and hit them up today.

Know other ways to get involved and make a difference? Let us know in the comments section below! The country is waiting for you!

Karen Datangel is a writer, blogger, social media addict, entertainment enthusiast, baseball/football fan (Go SF Giants and 49ers!), animal lover, nerdy and nostalgic fangirl, city wanderer, and a dreamer. Born, bred, and based in the Bay Area, Karen graduated with a degree in Journalism from San Francisco State University. Her resume includes contributions to and internships with Hollywood Life, CAAMFest (Formerly the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival), Audrey Magazine, Bustle, Fandom, SheKnows, and POPSUGAR. Follow her on Twitter @DatKaren.

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