Why bother with advocacy?

Coming across the phrase ‘political advocacy’ may conjure up some feelings of derision and disillusionment. Most people feel so disconnected from the governing bodies that affect many aspects of their lives, they’d rather go about their day in a way that limits their exposure to any happenings in the political landscape. Not because it isn’t important. Not because they aren’t concerned by it. Especially not because it doesn’t affect them. Why then, do so many people choose to tune out?

Because it’s easier. 

With so many issues the world is facing today, many people feel they are up to their capacity in caring. They’re experiencing what is called ‘compassion fatigue’, from the continuous exposure from the terrible news that keeps pouring in. Every day it feels like there is a new issue people are telling you to care about. It’s not that you don’t care. It’s that once you start caring, it’s easy to start caring too much, putting a strain on your ability to focus on the other things that are going on in your life.

The truth is, political advocacy is needed now more than ever. It is also easier now to get involved. The issue is the overwhelming sense of doom that has blanketed our vision when we think about the future and feeling like there is nothing you can do to stop it. 

Our approach to advocacy is this: if there is something you care about, be an advocate in that issue. Do what you can. Donate to organizations that do the groundwork. Make your voice heard. And then, you give yourself a break. Not because you don’t care about other issues, but because feeling guilty of not caring more may stop you from caring at all. 

Here are some ways you can get started:

-Inform yourself. Know the issues and what is going on in the news. 

-Start local. You don’t have to try and do it all. Small campaigns can lead the way to big change.

-Support your community. It’s important to get involved in local community organizations as they need all the help they can get.

-Vote! It is your biggest strength as an American citizen. You decide who represents you and it can change the outcome of policy for decades.

-Start a campaign. With Do You Democracy? You can create a campaign following an issue you are passionate about. Join us today at https://doyoudemocracy.org/ways-to-get-involved/internships/ 

-Fundraise. Every organization wishes that advocacy didn’t cost a dime but unfortunately it does. Money can make or break a campaign and a few dollars can go a long way to helping make a policy become reality. Donate today at https://doyoudemocracy.org/be-a-donor/

-Use social media. Posts supporting a policy go a long way to generating interest and support. Writing articles like these or op-eds for newspapers can easily spread the word on an advocacy campaign.

-Learn to lobby. Social lobbying is attempting to convince your Representatives to support your advocacy concerns. This can be as simple as sending your legislators a message through social media, sending an email, writing a letter, or calling them asking them to support a campaign.