How To Be Politically Active As A Teen

As a teenage in the unpredictable political world we live in, it’s difficult to stay involved in government decisions. We can’t vote, which can often make us feel hopeless and discouraged. However, you can’t let your age stop you from speaking up to the rest of the world. If you’re looking for how you can get involved on local or federal levels, you’ve come to the right place.

 

  1. Contact your representatives. I know you’re tired of hearing how important it is to contact politicians, but here’s a little secret: people are telling you it’s important because it’s important. Find out who is in charge of you on any level. Learn the names of your city councilmen, your congress representatives and your state’s senators and governor. Write letters, call them or send endless emails until they are forced to hear you out. If you’re looking for a simple method, text resist to 50409 and follow the instructions it gives you. It’s quick, easy and effective.
  2. Sign petitions. If you want a bill to go to Congress, there’s probably already a petition about it. If you disagree with a bill passed by congress, there is most definitely a petition about it. One signature may not seem like a lot, but they add up quickly. Some popular petitions going around right now are about saving net neutrality and removing health care subsidies for Congress, but change.org has a seemingly endless list of options.
  3. Protest. As greatly put by Rosa Parks, “It is better to protest than to accept injustice.” Make a sign, put on some walking shoes and go march for what you believe in. Not only does protesting send a loud and clear message to passerbys, but it also gives people involved a feeling of belonging and community. From my experience, people at protests and marches are some of the most accepting and nicest people I’ve ever met and I would recommend everyone try it at least once. For more, check out Joy C. Lundberg’s article on Why Protesting Matters.
  4. Use your art form. Whether it be writing, drawing, giving speeches or anything else, you can get your work shown and published. Start your own podcast or radio show, get your art shown in galleries, make an activism account on Instagram, do whatever you can to get your work seen by everyone. Whether you think that art imitates life or life imitates art, art is a way to speak and convey emotions, and you have just as much of a right as anyone else to express yours.
  5. Intern at local government levels. Most cities or counties have a government-run community center where you can volunteer or get a job. You’d get direct contact with your local community leaders and it opens up the chance for you to become one.
  6. Join or create school clubs. This one seems obvious, but the problem that people face is that they can’t find a specific focus club they want to join. Here’s some ideas for you:
    1. Young Democrats/Republicans
    2. Feminist Club
    3. Mental Health Club
    4. Earth Club
    5. Straight-Gay Alliance or Pride Coalition
  7. Raise money for an organization you really believe in. There are endless amounts of ways to raise money and there’s limitless amount of charities that accept donations. If you can’t find one for your specific passion, make your own! Many teenagers start their own organizations and there’s no reason you can’t either.
  8. Campaign for candidates you care about. Many have volunteer options and there’s many options for how to help. Whether you go to door, show support at events, or make phone calls from the comfort of your own home, it’s important to promote the people you support to make sure that your issues are voiced in government. It’s better to have it done by someone on your side than someone against you.

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