Ideas For Political Activism!

OK folks, the world is in a tough spot, the US midterms are coming, and you want to get active.  So here’s a bunch of places to go!  I’ve starred my favorites and I hope to add to this the more I discover.

General Activism and Pro Democracy

  • * DemCast – Communications-heavy activism!  Great for writers and users of social media.
  • * Indivisible Team – A pro-democracy, broad activist group.  Well worth joining.
  • * Movement Labs – Text bank for easy, fast activism!  Well worth signing up for.
  • Popular Democracy – Democratic community building
  • Swing Left – Flip states, counties, cities, and more blue with focused efforts.
  • Way To Win – Collective progressive action.


Voting Rights and Registration

Youth Voting

Twitter, Social Media, And Tribes

(This column is posted at, Steve’s Tumblr, and Pillowfort.  Find out more at my newsletter, and all my social media at my

The sale of Twitter to Elon Musk (which isn’t done due to the usual process) made me think, “yeah, time to rethink my social media use.”  I’ll share my thoughts, but first, a lesson about myself – and perhaps yourself.

I’m not leaving Twitter (yet), but I decided it was time to look at my social media use and other “microblogging options.”  So I went to open accounts at a mastodon site and, and found I already had accounts from five years ago.  Suddenly memories streamed back – I had planned this earlier.

I remember being concerned about Twitter and Facebook being the end-all-be-all of social media and had begun investigating other options.  How well did that go?  Well, I’m looking at five-year-old accounts I used for a few posts, so the answer is poorly.  Face it, Twitter was just easier (and we were glued to it during the last terrible administration)

I had been here before, so my first lesson is – never become so dependent on one social media site again.

Now onward to some more thoughts.

Steve’s Thoughts on Social Media Use

Humans work in tribes, but humans also like to build big things – like societies.  A healthy society comprises many interlinked “tribes” to both support each other and keep any one group from taking over.  A healthy society is linked together, communicates, and has people active in maintaining it.

My goal is to find, make, and link my tribes while playing a role in the larger society.  So next up, here’s the social media I’m thinking of:

Have A Website: Get a domain and use it.  Have a blog, a website, whatever.  Direct it to LinkedIn or to your (very useful tool).  You want someplace people can find you, a home base, something – there are tools to set these things up easily.  It’s a place for your tribe to find you.

A Blog:  You may want a blog, which is easy to set up with WordPress.  Blogs are good ways to post things and you can set up an RSS feed for people to use.

Use an RSS Reader:  RSS may not be as big a deal as it was, but it’s invaluable to integrate information among sites.  I use not just for news but also friends blogs, etc.  It’s a way to be informed and keep up with my people.

Newsletters:  Newsletters are very underrated ways to stay in touch and build a tribe.  They give you a mailing list of people, they give you a way to stay in touch, and they allow for links, documents, and other useful info.  Learn how to send one (I started one for friends and family 16 years ago).  If you’re a writer or artist they’re invaluable.  Plus you may have ones for different “tribes.”

Video Chat: Zoom, Webex, whatever these things are great.  You can schedule regular meetups with people easily, share data, and so on.  I strongly recommend picking a platform or two – I even pay for Zoom for myself.

Chat: Chat programs are great ways to stay in touch and have a more regular “tribe.”  Discord, Slack, etc. are really good for that.  Way back when AOL shut down, my friends and I moved to Discord, and it was great.  You may or may not need them, but consider them if you maintain some active social groups.

Microblogging:  Even if Twitter has an unsure future, “microblogging” like this seems useful for people.  I don’t think it’s needed for everyone, but it may be useful for authors, people trying to reach others, etc.  I’d consider one of the various Mastodon instances, – and don’t write off Twitter yet.

Facebook (sigh):  I am regrettably on it for reasons.  I don’t consider it necessary, it may not be for you, so I’ll leave it up to you.  However if money is an option, Facebook is free and has many of the above features.  Just remember you are the product.

Blog sites:  Twitter’s travails seem to be reviving Tumblr, and seems to show promise if growing slowly.  I think there’s a place for these for community building and information sharing, but you are dependent on another platform.  However you use these, remember to “back up your tribe” and find other ways to stay in touch with your community.

What I’m trying to do (read: revive my ideas of five years ago) is optimize how I use each of the above.  What tribe matters?  What purpose does each media serve?  How do I avoid over-dependence on any one?

You can guess you’ll probably read about it here.  Or five years from now if I fail again.

But before I finish up . . .

Engaging in Activism

I want you to find at least one form of activism to get involved in.  Donate, call, raise money, get out the vote, something that gets you involved.  It has several benefits.

  • First, you are able to do good.
  • Secondly, you build a tribe around things that matter – or find one you want to belong to.
  • Third, you learn how the world works (trust me, you don’t).
  • Fourth, you use the social media skills you developed above.
  • Fifth, you learn how tribes matter.

This is another subject to post on, but get involved.  It’s not easy (indeed, I could do it better), but it’s worth it.

Steven Savage

Civic Geek: What If We Do The Right Thing?

(This column is posted at and Steve’s Tumblr.  Find out more at my newsletter.)

Following up my various thoughts about the Parkland students, I noticed a few things:

  1. They’re unapologetic.
  2. When they do go on the attack (such as David Hogg’s push for against Laura Ingraham’s advertisers), they stay unapologetic.
  3. They keep doing their thing.

This made me realize something about modern politics. We don’t often realize what actual *activism* looks like.

We’ve confused activism with arguing. With spewing pundists. With internet comment battles. With silly memes. We’re used to yelling and arguing, but for the sake of yelling and arguing. We’re often too trained to look for a “win” or stay inside an echo chamber.

When we do engage, then we’re often dragged down by the lowest common denominator in a debate – and there’s plenty of that to go around. Most conservative pundits do not debate in good faith, most conservative “intellectuals” are clearly disingenuous. Their goal is not nuance or communication or convincing, it’s to win a screaming match.

Now, what if we step back from this and ask what happens when *we ignore engaging with people who aren’t interested in discussion.*

Reach out to people that do want to talk. Demonstrate in ways that do get attention. Engage in causes that actually bring people together and *do shit.* Let actions speak for themselves, and when you do speak don’t let yourself be dragged down but take action.

Most of all, don’t get dragged into the battle of pundits and provocateurs rolling in shit.

This is a lot of what I see happening now in politics. People engaging, getting active, getting involved. There’s assorted lists to give you ideas of how to actually do stuff, teams trying to flip districts, more folks running for office. A lot of it flies under radar as it’s not spectacular and yelly and in the news by people trying to sell advertising.

This kind of activism is immensely frustrating to the people whose livelihood and jollies rely on pointless bad faith argument and mud-slinging. When you’re the one screaming until people worry you’re going to wet yourself, you look bad. When you’re busy screaming obscenities and claiming High Schoolers are a secret Deep State Cult, you look sort of dumb.

We need more of this. More real activism. Less mud-slinging. Even if it’s just donating money or marching – or just making sure you post relevant news articles to your social media.

If those of us really concerned with society move forward, do the right thing, engage less with the people acting with no good faith, we’ll get a lot more done. Best of all the various liars and decievers and screamers will just get more frustrated and further undermine themselves.

Me, I know I can do better at this. But when I see what you can do when you stop and focus on doing the right thing first, it certainly tells me what I have to do.

And what I don’t.

How are you going to do the right thing?

– Steve