How to Become More Politically Involved in Your Community

It can be overwhelming to keep up with all of the recent political issues that have been taking place worldwide. Sometimes it seems like a never-ending string of events. If you’re like me, you want to keep yourself updated on everything. Nowadays, with a rise in social activism, it’s crucial to read about current situations and to voice your opinion with backed-up evidence. If you feel compelled to speak up about something that is recent and that matters to you, but don't know how, read on. 

  1. 1. Stay informed

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    With social media, getting information can be as easy as a few taps. Social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter have a wide variety of accounts you can follow that share current news. Accounts like CNN and BuzzFeedNews are a good place to start. 

    There are also a lot of accounts that advocate for different ideologies. There are accounts on feminism, fighting civic injustice, LGBTTQ+ rights, and more! By following them, you’ll keep yourself updated on the latest news related to those topics, and you’ll also be connected to a community that shares your same views. 

    Aside from following news accounts and topic accounts, there are many politicians on social media that you can follow right now. Find those that you resonate with and read about their policies. It’ll help you make a more conscious decision when elections roll around. 

    If you prefer to keep your social media feed and your news feed separate, signing up for a newsletter might be the right option for you. Some good newsletters you can sign up for are the UN newsletter and the Washington Post. And get this, they’re both free!

  2. 2. Read from the source

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    While reading news on your social media feed is convenient, it’s always good to fact-check everything you read online. Oftentimes, information can be deconstructed and changed to fit certain biases. So, read from different sources, journalists, and perspectives. But most importantly, read from the original source whenever possible. This will give you insight into certain topics from different standpoints and eventually you will be able to construct your own opinion on the matter based on all the information you have compiled. A good source website on historical and current events is the Library of Congress, but there are also many more libraries and places where you can get information from.

  3. 3. A slightly different take on watching television

    Girl watching Netflix

    There are a ton of ways you can learn more about what’s happening around the world, all from the comfort of your living room sofa. Apart from news channels you’re probably already familiar with, a lot of streaming services offer a great selection of documentaries on a variety of topics. Some examples of documentaries you can watch on Netflix are 13th and Immigration Nation. On Hulu, you can access The Fight, and on HBO Max you can watch The Swamp

  4. 4. Get out there!

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    The most important part about being politically involved in your community is to interact with it. Talk to people about things that bother you, but also remember to listen to others' different takes on certain topics. Make room for debate and learn in the process.

    If you’re currently in college, join a club. Odds are there’s a debate team or maybe  clubs for those who swing right and for those who swing left. It’s important to be heard, and joining a club might just get yourself out there.

    Talking about being heard, if you feel strongly about something, go out and express that to the world. Peaceful protests are a way to demonstrate your disagreement with certain decisions that are being made in the government or any other organization. Also, attend Town Hall meetings and City Council meetings. Talk to your officials directly and put your concerns out there. If you’d rather stay home, there are other ways you can still contact your elected officials.

Another great way to be involved with your officials and politics in general is to sign up and work for a specific political party. You’ll learn a lot more about what they stand for and what goes on behind the scenes. These political parties offer a bunch of options. You can participate in an internship, volunteer to work for them in the elections, or even join a campaign! If you swing left, here’s a great place to start. If you swing right, here’s the place for you. If you are one of our readers from Puerto Rico and you stand for independence, here’s the perfect website for you. If you agree with statehood, here’s your website. If you prefer the current status of our government (an unincorporated U.S. territory) here’s a place to start. Here I have mentioned the three main political parties in P.R. but feel free to search the web for a different political party that speaks to you and your values! 

Last but not least, if you are 18 or older, make sure you are registered to vote and hit up those polls when necessary. Your vote matters.

Staying informed on recent events and current social issues is not as hard as it seems. With so many different outlets, social media platforms, and books out there, the amount of knowledge you can obtain is endless. So, use these tips and any other resources available to you to get you started!