Got Post-Election Blues? How to Take Action!

Are you having a hard time adjusting to the recent U.S. election results? Are you worried about the various people who are being considered for top posts? Does the increase in hate crimes across the country concern you?

There are different ways that individuals are responding to the election results. Those who voted for Donald Trump are, of course, elated. Those who are dismayed may find themselves almost going through the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Whether you are feeling shock and disbelief, or anger, talking with friends with whom you feel safe and engaging in self-care are critical at this time.

As seen by the sheer number of individuals who are engaged in protests around the country, many seem to have jumped ahead to the anger stage. They are proactively channeling their anger into advocacy.

Regardless of where you are at right now, you may feel comforted and empowered by knowing that there are a few tools at your disposal to give voice to your opinions (should you so desire) and potentially change the course of current events.

As per Vivian Ohtake-Urizar, LMSW, from the Training Institute for Mental Health in New York, below are a few simple concrete steps that you may employ to object to Steve Bannon’s appointment as the chief strategist of the White House (and any other appointments that may give you cause to be concerned).

Calling your senators and/or house representatives is one of the most effective ways of taking action and letting your feelings be known.  Please see the graphic below for the full list of action steps.

To find the contact information of your local representatives, you may

1)     Go to www.whoismyrepresentative.com and enter your zipcode, or

2)     Go to http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/ and provide your full address

3)     Alternatively, if you know their names, you can call U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to be transferred.

Below is a sample script that you could use when contacting your senator/house representative:

“Hi, my name is [Your Name], and I’m a constituent of [Representative’s Name]. I live at [Your Address].

I’m calling to ask [Representative’s Name] to make it a priority to pressure [Mitch McConnell when calling your senator/Paul Ryan when calling your house representative] to pressure Donald Trump to remove Steve Bannon, a known white supremacist, from the position of Chief Strategist. Bannon is a dangerous man.”

Three additional tips to note:

  • Provide your address when calling. In this manner, your senator/house representative will know that you are a constituent and that getting back to you is important.
  • Be prepared to leave a detailed voicemail for your representative. In all likelihood, when calling, you’ll reach a staffer and he/she will be able to pass on the message.
  • To be most effective, call each representative at least three times, one day after another.

Why would you want to consider objecting to Bannon’s appointment? He is an extremely powerful white supremacist and anti-Semite in the United States; hence, David Duke of the Ku Klux Klan and the national neo-Nazi party have praised his appointment.

The appointment of Bannon jeopardizes the safety and rights of anyone of who is not a Catholic Caucasian male, that is, women, African-Americans, LGBQT and all other minority groups.

 Additional Possible Actions Include:

  • Calling House Speaker Paul Ryan at (202) 225-3031 and telling him know that you object to Bannon’s appointment.
  • Calling Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at (202) 224-2541 and letting him know that disagree with Bannon’s appointment.
  • Calling out the media when they report the Bannon appointment as a straight news story, or refer to him as a “Breitbart executive” or a “provocateur,” but don’t call him what he is: a white supremacist, an anti-semite and a misogynist. Do not let them normalize.
  • Making the Bannon appointment the focus of any current protests with signs, chants etc.
  • Trying to get the support of others such as: religious groups, mainstream business groups (for ex: the Chamber of Commerce at (202-659-6000), college presidents, high-profile coaches and anyone who has a public megaphone.
  • Signing and sharing the Southern Poverty Law Center’s petition.

You May Also Consider:

  • Volunteering to accompany a neighbor on their way to/back from work
  • Participating in the #MacroSW twitter chats that are held every Thursday at 9PM EST.  These are talks hosted by a group of social workers and advocates who are focused on macro social practice, ranging from community organizing and education to legislative advocacy and policy analysis.

See the twitter cheat sheet for a guide on how to use twitter and twitter chats for an explanation about what a twitter chat is and instructions on how to participate.

Check out the recap of #MacroSW post election twitter chat.

  • Reading about the top 7 advocacy tools/resources as per Rachel L. West, LMSW, a community outreach & advocacy consultant.
  • Volunteering or donating to one of the below organizations:
    • ACLU – “For almost 100 years, the ACLU has worked to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States.”
    • NAAP – “The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.”
    • NARAL Pro-Choice – “The Supreme Court legalized abortion with its decision in Roe v. Wade in 1973. Anti-choice groups have been attacking the right to choose ever since. Their ultimate goal is to outlaw abortion again… We are made up of pro-choice women and men across the United States. Together, we’re protecting and expanding reproductive freedom.”
    • National Center for Transgender Equality – “The National Center for Transgender Equality is a national social justice organization devoted to ending discrimination and violence against transgender people through education and advocacy on national issues of importance to transgender people.”
    • Planned Parenthood – “Planned Parenthood delivers vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of women, men, and young people worldwide.”

In light of Mike Pence’s history of shutting down and working to defund Planned Parenthood, 20,000 people have chosen to give to Planned Parenthood in his honor.

Donating in this manner ensures Mike Pence hears that you disagree with his opinion and actions because he will get a certificate in the mail, notifying him of your donation, and help Planned Parenthood at the same time.

Mike Pence’s address is:

Office of Governor Pence
State House, Room 206
Indianapolis, IN 46204-2797
Any other ideas to add? Please share them below!

Reference: Ohtake-Urizar, V. (2016, November 16). An opportunity to take action email.

 

Post-election Action Steps