What Can People Who Are Concerned About the Trump Presidency do to Become Involved?

What can people who are concerned about the Trump presidency do to become involved? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Becky Bond and Zack Exley, Former Senior Advisers to Bernie Sanders (2016); co-authors of Rules for Revolutionaries, on Quora.

Zack Exley and I wrote Rules for Revolutionaries: How Big Organizing Can Change Everything because we believe it will take millions of concerned Americans working together to win solutions as radical as the problems we face.

Now, with the election of Donald Trump to the presidency, putting power in the hands of the people is even more urgent than ever. We need to build a mass movement, powered by volunteers, that can do two things: Resist the promised abuses of the Trump administration (deporting millions of our neighbors, encouraging violence by his most ardent supporters, unconstitutional registry of Muslims), and build a political revolution big enough to sweep politicians out of office at all levels and elect people who will address income inequality, dismantle structural racism, rebuild our economy, address the climate crisis and fix our broken immigration and health care systems.

One of the first rules in our book is "You Don't Get a Revolution if you Don't Ask for One." So it's up to us to demand real change in the face of a Trump presidency. People are just waiting to be asked to do something big to win something big. And we'll need big organizing to defend against the abuses of a Trump presidency and the defeat the forces of Trumpism at the polls in 2018 and 2020.

There are several things people can do right now.

  1. Protect the people that Trump attacked during his campaign. Women, immigrants, Muslims. Support groups who are actively involved in this -- from your local Planned Parenthood clinic to national groups protesting deportations like Mijente and ColorOfChange which works to hold police and local district attorneys accountable for prosecuting hate crimes.
  2. Tell your elected representatives at all levels that you expect them to resist the Trump administration's abuses. Groups leading the way include CREDO, Greenpeace, ColorOfChange, MPower Change and MoveOn.
  3. Support change at the top of the Democratic National Committee. The general election was less of an endorsement of Trump than a resounding defeat for Clintonism and neoliberalism. State party chairs and other members of the DNC will elect a new chair and a new executive director will be hired. The new leader at the DNC must bring the party together around both economic populism and racial justice. This leader will also need the confidence of the grassroots and can't represent continued control by the Clinton machine or anyone responsible for the disastrous Clinton campaign which handed the White House to Donald Trump. The only current declared candidate that fits that criteria is Congressman Keith Ellison and he and other candidates who may emerge that are like him need your support.
  4. Consider running for office on an agenda of change or helping someone run for office. A group of former Bernie Sanders volunteers and staff have an ambitious plan to run 400 candidates for Congress in 2018 and throw the bums out! You can learn more at Brand New Congress.
  5. Read our book Rules for Revolutionaries: How Big Organizing Can Change Everything and use the tactics and strategies we learned on the Bernie Sanders campaign and in our careers in politics to get together with other volunteers and together build a campaign on one of the suggestions above or something else that is important in your community. The book details both the big picture ideas that motivate volunteers to join causes as well as specific strategies and tactics to put people to work to win real change -- even when you don't have paid staff, organizational support or any budget to speak of. There are huge fights to be waged locally and nationally to keep fossil fuels in the ground, to build sanctuary cities and campuses, to elect district attorneys who will hold law enforcement accountable for protecting people from hate crimes and police abuse. If an organization is not giving you meaningful work to accomplish urgent goals, you can join with others and get started together.

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