I admit it. I hate calling my Congressperson. I actually have to ASSIGN myself a time to call, or a number of calls to make, depending on the issue. But after calling, I always feel good, and wonder why I had to fight so much inertia.
If this sounds at all like you, you might be interested in this website I was just introduced to by my friend Iris, the Americans of Conscience Checklist.
I signed up to receive the weekly Checklist via email. It’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like. As it tells you on the home page,
the AoC Checklist features clear, well-researched actions for Americans who value democracy, equality, voting, and respect. To stay engaged through challenging times, we practice gratitude, self-care, and celebration.
So I get the best of both worlds: a definitive, time-based reminder that’s done all my legwork for me. All I have to do is choose one thing–boom, done. I can go deeper if I want, but that’s entirely up to me.
Take this week’s list, for example. It offers actions to take if you are concerned about…
…advocating for a crucial safeguard against election fraud:
Script: Hi, I’m calling from [ZIP] because I want security around [STATE]’s elections to be public and trustworthy. Nonpartisan experts agree that a specific type of post-election oversight called a risk-limiting audit (RLA) is the strongest and most cost-effective defense against malfunctioning or hacked voting systems. Can I count on [NAME] to support mandatory RLAs in [STATE] beginning with the 2020 presidential primaries? Thank you.
…the rights of vulnerable people, like Native American women:
Script: Hi. I’m calling from [ZIP] to express my deep frustration that the Senate still has not acted on the Violence Against Women Act, lapsed now for more than a year. As a result, Native American women in particular are even more vulnerable to assault and rape. I’m asking [NAME] to support the complete House version (H.R. 1585) and call for an immediate vote on it.
The checklist goes on to offer a name of someone worthy of thanking. This week, it suggests: “Thank NBA Commissioner Adam Silver for affirming employees’ individual rights to freedom of expression.”
And of course it provides Mr. Silver’s address.
Then comes my favorite part, the Good News section. Don’t know about you, but I need this stuff to keep me hopeful! There’s national good news…
A federal court issues a temporary injunction against the administration’s “public charge” rule, which would limit aspiring Americans’ ability to receive green cards should they need to utilize public assistance.
…as well as state-by-state, like this from Vermont:
VT will allow young adults aged 18-20 with criminal charges to remain in the juvenile court system, providing them with age-appropriate services and allowing them to avoid a life-altering criminal record.
Way to go, Vermont! I doubt I would have learned that news from any other source.
Point is, my inertia doesn’t stand a chance against this kind of easy, hand-picked list of ways to weigh in on things I do care about, even if you wouldn’t know it from my laziness. If you can relate to this at all, I hope you’ll consider checking out the Americans of Conscience Checklist here.