If you’re feeling shell–shocked and exasperated over the dumpster fire that is the Donald Trump administration (it hasn’t even been 100 days yet!), look on the bright side. Perhaps now more than ever people across the U.S. are becoming politically engaged, paying attention, and fighting back.
But while Trump and his discriminatory and destructive federal policies are getting most of the attention, local-level politics are just as crucial to enacting change in our communities. The nonprofit group StayWoke, which was born out of the Black Lives Movement and brought us Campaign Zero to fight police violence and the Resistance Manual, published this week an impressive online tool called Our States, which allows users to track key issues and legislation in all 50 states.
The website tracks pending state legislation on immigration, policing and protests, reproductive justice, voting rights, LGBTQ equality, and economic justice. For example, I can go to the interactive map and click on my home state of Illinois in the category of immigration to find out that House bill HB0426 has been introduced to allow schools, places of worship, and medical facilities to deny any searches for undocumented immigrants by local and state agencies without a judge’s warrant.
This sounds like a piece of legislation I would support, so I can then scroll down to the “6 Steps to Influence Your State Legislator” section, which gives me all the information I need to make my voice heard on the issue, such as requesting a meeting with my legislator, following up with phone calls and emails, and tracking the bill’s progress, hopefully to the governor’s desk.
If that doesn’t work, Our States can help you take it to the next level with media action tips and direct action strategy. It’s basically a one-stop resource on how to get yourself educated and fight back.
Policy analyst and data scientist Samuel Sinyangwe told Mic that, “In many of these states, you have Trump’s agenda already being legislated. If we don’t engage in the states to block them, it will in effect enact Trump’s agenda, despite our efforts to stop it in Washington.”
Other people who helped put Our States together include DeRay Mckesson, Brittany Packnett, Aditi Juneja, and John Emerson, along with several volunteers who gathered information on the legislative proposals in all 50 states.
So now you have your road map. Get out there and #Resist!