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5 Things You Can Do RIGHT NOW to Make 2020 Less Awful

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Hi everyone! Nivi here, founder of Soapbox Project, a media startup that makes socia impact easy for busy people. It’s so nice to meet you. I’ve been following Broke-Ass Stuart over a year now (though it’s felt more like a decade). For me, living through a pandemic has been a ginormous reminder of how important it is for us to be engaged with our community — whether that’s subscribing to local journalism by supporting the Broke-Ass Stuart Patreon, staying informed on local politics, or supporting small businesses by spending $20 at the Ice Cream Bar every week…which is purely hypothetical and not something I’ve been doing since March.

The stakes of our civic and political engagement are at an all-time high. You know that already, though, so I’m going to cut to the chase and tell you five things you can do right now.

1. National Level: Go through this voting checklist for EVERYTHING you need to know.

We only have about a week left, and if you’re a procrastinator, that’s okay. We got you. You can use this checklist to tick off the actions you need to take in the next few days. I’ll lay it out for you here too:

[ ] Make sure you’re registered to vote if that’s still applicable in your state
[ ] Build your ballot using WeVote to make it easier when you’re actually filling it out
[ ] Mail in your ballot or drop it off at an official location if you’re not voting in-person
[ ] Sign up to become a poll worker in your area
[ ] Track your ballot using BallotTrax (you can search if this is relevant to your county)

Those are the main things you need to take care of — now go! We’re here, cheering you on.

2. National Level: Phone/text bank for the presidential campaign ASAP.

I don’t love talking on the phone but I can chatter away all day online, so I signed up to text bank for the Biden Campaign. It only took 2 minutes to get started and you can find all the info here.

It looks like Obama is phone banking while sitting between a woman from a stock image and a time traveler from 1978.

3. State Level: Get familiar with Prop 22, the rideshare act.

I fundamentally believe that corporations should not be allowed to write their own laws, which is what Prop 22 does. Stuart is very much a NO on Prop 22 person; here’s a deep dive from his team on how it undermines gig workers’ rights. I encourage you to do your own research and vote accordingly, with one hint: follow the money.

Yes on 22 would keep app-based drivers as contractors. If you’re a driver, you’d be exempt from state labor laws. Passing 22 also comes with some perks for drivers, but if it’s passed, it’ll take a seven-eighths majority to be amended. Which…has that ever happened in the history of laws?

Yes on 22 has also received almost $200 million from companies like Uber, Lyft, and Doordash. It’s the most funds that an initiative campaign has ever received in California. It’s also been endorsed by the NAACP of California, which usually would be a positive signal to me, except for this huge conflict of interest. You can see the very impressive list of NO on Prop 22 supports right here.

You can see who the biggest donors are to all the California propositions. for Prop 22, all those making huge profits are donating insane amounts, while labor unions are donating for No on Prop 22.

4. National, State, and Local Levels: Follow your officials on social media. Know your 2020 races.

I cannot stress this enough. Following my supervisors in SF has been the single most important way I’ve turned my belief in local politics into action because I finally feel like I’m in the loop. Some of my favorite SF politicians/government officials to follow on Twitter are Matt Haney, Jeffrey Tumlin, and Jackie Fielder.

You can find out all your officials, as well as the 2020 races in your area, at Vote411’s personalized ballot.

5. State and Local Levels: Advocate for environmental justice.

I don’t have to tell you twice about how important this is; you can just step outside. We’ve all seen the impacts of climate change in our own backyard. Bookmark CEJA Action’s 2020 Environmental Justice Voter Guide to see what’s on the ballot, including legislation and elected officials.

I also write Changeletter, a weekly newsletter that helps busy people like you fight climate change in 3 minutes every Wednesday. If you’re interested in taking action against climate change but feel overwhelmed or lost, come join me! We pick a monthly topic and break it down into bite-sized, actionable modules so you can learn about issues and make a difference at the same time.

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