Felice Varini Piano

Democracy.

I didn’t want to turn this into a political blog, but I also didn’t anticipate the utterly vile actions being taken by our elected and appointed officials in so rapidly a fashion as they are today. If you don’t agree with my point of view, gird yourself and read on. If you do, also gird yourself, and act.

This weekend, like millions of others globally, we took to the streets to express that we do not accept the incoming administration’s disregard for facts, for science, for education, for health, and for equal rights. It was a moving experience, one in which the sea of humanity felt so vast that it took us 7 hours to walk the march’s path. There were elderly men and women, middle aged men and women, teenagers and children alike. It was an astonishing showing ; estimates are putting the global numbers at roughly 4 MM marchers. But now, we are duty bound to follow through our discontent with action.

First, we must remain educated on what is happening, regardless of our leanings. Act Up, one of the most successful activism movements in history, was able to get its AIDS platform heard by Reagan’s administration because they considered it their duty to know the facts better than their officials did.

READ. LEARN. ASK QUESTIONS. Do not accept for truth what even the elected officials of your party tell you, and certainly not those who surface “alternative facts.” Fight for a Better America has an excellent list of resources that we should all read. Meet the Cabinet that is currently being put up to run our trusted agencies, and understand their points of view. Understand what resonates with you- you may be perfectly happy with one cabinet pick, and disgusted with another. Develop and hone your point of view and find what resonates with you.

Then get to work:

  • FIND YOUR REPRESENTATIVE in the house (upper right hand corner). Note their email and save their phone number in your phone. CALL THEM.

  • FIND YOUR SENATOR in the senate (upper right hand corner). Not their email and save their phone number in your phone. CALL AND WRITE THEM.

  • Or make it stupid easy on yourself and do this all through Fight for a Better America

  • Sign up at SwingLeft.org – Full stop, our government works best when no one party has a full majority- we need checks and balances and that requires tipping the balances of the house and senate. Sign up to find your nearest swing districts – we will be directed to phone bank or volunteer in person to get democrats elected in these districts.

  • Commit to doing your civic duty 3x per week. That might be 3 emails, or 3 calls, or attending a rally, or watching your friend’s children so she can go to a rally. It could be making a recurring donation to Planned Parenthood or the ACLU. It could be committing to defend a stranger who is being bullied or disrespected.

Finally, the normalization of the abnormal starts in our homes and with our friends. If a friend is vocally supporting the perpetuation of racism, sexism corruption and lies in my presence, I will not remain silent. And I will not tolerate those who remain silent in my presence- those who do become complicit in the denigration of our democracy, and we should expect more of our friends and family than to let this happen.

Let your voice be heard, but lead with your action. This is the harder part but one we should apply ourselves to wholeheartedly. I believe so strongly in the promise of this country. It is a place of justice and of promise, and imminently deserving of our efforts to ensure that it is protected.