Becoming Political

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Many of us have an internally running script saying how dissatisfied we are with some political action. Every now and then I suggest to others that they should stop complaining on social media and do something more constructive. Here are some suggestions - modified from the American advocacy group, Climate Reality Project:

  • Call your elected officials’ offices, especially if a decision or vote is pending. Expect that you are talking to a staff member rather than the representative - who will nevertheless be monitoring opinions.

  • Ask for the staff person dealing with the particular issue. Leave a message if you don’t get through to a live person

  • Identify yourself as a constituent, when you are one.

  • Know your facts and state what you think the leader should do.

  • Note any expertise you have in the area.

  • Make the call short. There are likely many calls coming in.

  • Call all the leaders who have an impact on the issue - municipal, provincial and national

When using social media, share good information by linking to it rather than simply ranting..

When writing letters to the editor:

  • Keep it short (100-200 words) and note the article you are referring to. Expect even a short article to be cut - and make every sentence stand alone.

  • Check submission rules for the particular publication. Timely letters - sent almost immediately as a response are more likely to get published.