Many of us are getting out of our comfort zone and becoming involved in public discourse like never before and the Science March this past weekend provided proof of this. I was grateful for those across the world that set aside time on their Saturday to ‘show up’ and let our leaders know that facts matter, we don’t buy the propaganda, and we care about democracy and a healthy earth.
But there’s more ‘showing up’ than just marching for science these days.
My local ACLU chapter has recorded an uptick in people showing up for their monthly meetings. I live in a conservative area of northern California and have noticed a definitive increase in progressive activism taking place. Many of us have realized that being a citizen is more than just showing up at a voting booth every election and sending money to our favorite social endeavor.
It’s work though. I don’t know about you but I’ve taken on a new respect for all our public elected officials because it takes time and dedication to ‘show up’ at meeting after meeting, event after event, and like many of us, did so while working a regular job. I have learned to greatly respect those men and women in my new friends circle who have devoted years worth of Saturday’s or work week evenings to meet, discuss, plan, advance, and advocate for healthy democratic ideals in our communities.
I am, thankfully, in a place where my children are raised and I have more time to devote to public service. But I realized that even that is an excuse as I sat one recent Saturday afternoon and listened to a mother of two daughters contend for the position of California Democratic Chair. I thought to myself “If she’s willing to give up time with her family and speak with me to earn her vote, I have had no reason not to at least show up to a monthly ACLU meeting.”
We live in a historical time with an unpredictable president and a federal government shorn of much of it’s power to be a balancing element to Wall Street. Many of us are realizing that democracy isn’t just about voting, its also about meetings after a work-day full of meetings, its about giving up time with family on the weekends, its about more bodies ‘showing up’ at local community halls.
So thanks! Thanks to those who went out of their comfort zone yesterday and marched for reason. Thanks to those elected servants, whether on the same side of the aisle as me or not, because I understand a little more now the sacrifice given to serve. Thanks to those ‘showing up’ more and more at local meetings and events, investing your time to ensure that democracy prevails at this moment in history. Mostly, thanks for all those who, over decades of dedication, have consistently shown up, even when the socio-political weather was fair. You are exemplary and encouraging.