Looking for how to continue the fight to March for Our Lives? Read on for seven easy steps to staying empowered:
Know Who Represents You. Go to Contacting Congress to find info on your two senators and your member of the House of Representatives. These are the people who represent you, so it’s important to know them. Go to the official USA.gov site to find out the info on your governor, state congresspeople, and other politicians.
Do Your Research. Where do your politicians stand? Check out Politics That Work to see graphs on the voting records for your Senators and the voting record of your Rep. (If your congressperson has been in office since 2015, here’s an Everytown chart of a 2015 Senate vote for background checks.)
Follow the Money. Who is donating to your politician and—more importantly—what do they owe to whom for this money? Go to Open Secrets (a website by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics) to find out the big donors for your politician.
Reach Out! Call your politicians (it takes like 30 seconds), Tweet them, send them postcards, and visit their local offices. Pro-gun lobbyists apply a lot of pressure; we have to, too! (Not sure what to say? Follow this script from Giffords advocacy group. Want a more in-depth script to talk to your politician? Check out this guide from Indivisible.)
Register to Vote. Old enough to vote? REGISTER NOW. If you’ve been at any marches, you’ve heard the chant “vote them out.” Well, that cannot happen without YOU voting. Start the process here. (Aren’t old enough yet? Sound out postcards and emails and posts/Tweets/grams to the adults you know asking them if they’re registered and providing them with a link for registering in your state.)
Write a Letter to the Editor. We older people need to understand your reality! Write a heartfelt letter and explain how it feels to grow up with these fears. (Don’t know how to send a letter to the editor? Look up how on your local paper’s website; for example, here is how to write the Chicago Tribune. If you’re having trouble finding the information, Google “how to submit a letter to the editor for [newspaper name].”) Be sure to include your age in your letter so people can see how seriously younger people are taking this fight.
Join Up! Join or support groups that are already doing the work. Here are a few (Chicago-specific organizations are marked as such):
- March for Our Lives: marchforourlives.com
- Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence: ichv.org (Illinois)
- Cure Violence: cureviolence.org
- ucan: ucanchicago.org (Chicago)
- Giffords: giffords.org
- Moms Demand Action: momsdemandaction.org
- Everytown: everytown.org
- #GoodKidsMadCity: twitter.com/GKMC18 (Chicago)
Do NOT Stop Talking. Gun reform is a long-term battle but one worth fighting. Keep up the push, keep up the fight, keep speaking out, keep resisting!