Right now, we are living in some pretty uncertain times. The daily news rolling in plagues communities and workplaces (with some of us now officing at home) with worry and many unanswered questions. So, what now?
One thing we should all remain certain of is the reality that our communities need to heal and rebuild outside of COVID-19. We must continue strengthening our peers and changing the political makeup of today. The work toward equality and fairness cannot cease simply because our lives, for the most part, are moving onward indoors.
Each of us who are able must remain vigilant advocates for whatever issue or issues matter most to us and adapt to doing so from home.
Here are a few ways to do just that:
Update your voter registration
- In South Dakota, voters still cannot register to vote online, thanks to the legislature voting down House Bill 1050 this year. However, you can update or register for the first time by mailing in your completed voter registration form. Find a copy here.
Fill out your census form
- Participation in the Census by everybody makes for a healthier democracy. If people are not counted, their communities will receive less representation in government and fewer resources.
- Census data informs our nation’s most important decisions, including how the federal government spends $900 billion on critical services like building roads, providing for health insurance, and supporting education. More information here.
Write your Representatives and Senator to check in now that legislative session is over
- From defeating a bill that would have prohibited doctors from providing medically necessary care to transgender youth to stopping a bill that would have modified presumptive probation, the ACLU of South Dakota had some important victories during the 2020 legislative session. But there were some disappointments, too, like the passing of an anti-protest bill that could be applied in a manner that violates the Constitution. If you’re tired of seeing bills like this, email your lawmakers right now and remind them that you’re going to the ballot box with their voting history in mind. Just be sure to research how your lawmakers voted first. Tips and tricks here.
Set up phone calls or Zoom chats with folks in your community to prep for what’s next
Right now, everyone might be sequestered to their houses, but that doesn’t mean planning for the future is out of the question. Set up a time to chat with your friends, neighbors, or colleagues and formulate a plan of attack for when it is safer to congregate publicly to tackle your plans for advocacy. Sign up for a free account here.
If you can, watch the news
Keep informed on what's happening out in the world so you can keep ahead of issues in your community and know when to act. Just make sure your sources are credible. We recommend outlets like the Argus Leader, Rapid City Journal, NPR or your local public radio station.
Get your family involved where it is appropriate
We know that advocacy comes in all forms and quite frankly, is appropriate for nearly any age. Whatever work you do, be sure to get your family involved – even the little ones! Check out our ACLU coloring pages below that can be printed off on demand. They’re perfect décor for your fridge or home office.
Once colored in, post a photo and tag our Facebook page and encourage your friends to do the same.
We'll get through this, South Dakota.