By Amanda Labuza
I have never considered myself much of a political person. But in the last year, it has been hard to ignore. The news has been covered with policy changes, bans, executive orders, fake wire tapping, and much more. Throughout this new year, I have found myself taking action to make my concerns known.
No, my one phone call won’t have a large impact. But my call, and your call, and your classmates’ calls will. There is power in numbers. If you’d like to make a difference, here is an easy guide.
1) Know what it is you are asking for. It doesn’t take long to be informed. For example, NPR did a wonderful summary of proposed budget cuts found here: https://goo.gl/nbVd3m There is a summary of NIH funding here: https://goo.gl/xDsUxj
3) Contact your representative using pre-made scripts! Scripts can be found at: 5calls.org, www.sfn.org/advocacy/advocacy-network/advocacy-action-center, www.asbmb.org/Advocacy/Toolkit/LetterPhoneExamples/
4) Join advocacy groups! Find a group that cares about the same concerns you do. They’ll email you scripts for you to copy and paste whenever a bill of interest comes up. Join in marches and protests for causes you are passionate about. It doesn’t have to be a daily fight, but a little time can go a long way.
If you choose to reach out to your congressmen, your message will most likely be received by an aid to the represenative or senator. Don’t be discouraged by this. The aids have plenty of influence. If the aid spends the day answering phone calls on the same topic, you can be sure the senator will hear about it. After receiving the same email over and over from an advocacy group, they can no longer ignore it. Even if they don’t have time to give you a personalized response, they still have read the email. There is power in numbers.
Good luck in making your voice heard. If there is a topic you feel passionate about, a few minutes on the phone can make a difference.