There are so many reasons why we need to understand how the nation’s politics and our voting system really works as Americans. The biggest one is for our children’s tomorrow…
Will you RISE UP and be a VOICE?
Advocating for Others Through Government Leaders
The past year has been an eye opener for many Americans including for me personally. We’ve seen, step by step, how the election process happens for the President of the United States. The truth for many of us is that this is the first time we truly paid attention and admittedly perhaps a bit too late. At least for me as a mom of 3, over 40, married left wondering what we’re building for my children’s tomorrow with my voting actions today. Did I really share my voice?
As children, we grow up learning that one day we’ll get to vote and believe our vote can make a difference. As adults, we walk the walk and talk the talk and then go through the steps of voting. However, at the end of the day, I’ll admit I had a moment to myself thinking….
Did I do enough to make my one vote matter?
As we march into a new year and look to our newly elected officials, I ask you to RISE UP together and see how you can BE A VOICE today for the tomorrow you want our children to live in.
Ways to Take Action and RISE UP
There are ways to get involved locally, regionally, statewide, and nationally to help ensure those around you are being treated with the best of intentions. It takes that first big step into taking the reigns and owning the fact that we’re the adults and we’re building our tomorrow through the actions we take each day.
Are we really involved or just going through the motions?
Here are some steps and connections that I ask you to do as a parent. Together we can do this!
Connect with State and Local Government Officials
Take the time to know the names of your local elected members of government. Have their email and phone number in a file, seriously. Don’t be afraid to reach out, even if you’re emailing them about a positive thing. Now move on and know your state-level and national-level elected leaders. Add their info to your list.
Have a question, concern, or suggestion for your local or state leaders? Give them a call!
This is the best way to get a message directly to them. Most officials love to have people show they care enough about an issue to ask questions and give input, and even set aside time to meet with their constituents one on one. Be a voice!
Click here to look up your local officials
Consider going one step further and RUN for office … start planning now on the logistics of it.
Know Your Local School Board
Know the names of your local school board. Show up to a school board meeting to see how they work so that if there is an issue you feel comfortable adding it to the next agenda to bring it the topic up for discussion.
Be a voice for the child who’s voice is not being heard!
Get Involved with the PTA
Did you know that the National PTA is the largest advocate group for children? They have created so many resources for you to get involved in advocacy in your community as well as with upcoming laws and amendments that are on the upcoming ballot. It’s really about so much more than your school’s fundraising. Get involved. Consider attending your state’s PTA convention this year.
Click here for even sample letters to get you started
Go VOTE in the Primary Election
Seek out Diversity in Your Community
Do all of your friends have similar backgrounds and lifestyles as you? Can you seek out ways to connect with even more families in your community? Find ways to connect with others outside of your circle. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side and we all could use someone on our side.
Go even further…. Ask for DIVERSITY in the toys, books, shows, and movies that you’re watching. I’m excited to be cohosting the Multicultural Children’s Book Day on January 27 as we celebrate authors who been inspired by the challenge and are creating books that are filled with diversity for our child. Finding works of inspiration from all backgrounds is a great way to start with your child.
One of my favorite spots of inspiration is the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC that I had a chance to share with my daughter. Here’s a picture of her taking a photo of her favorite quote featured from the Declaration of Independence.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, that to secure these rights governments are instituted among men. We…solemnly publish and declare, that these colonies are and of a right ought to be free and independent states…and for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honour.”
My hope is to inspire her for tomorrow and how she takes action for herself and for others for what’s RIGHT. To create the change that the only President she’s ever known inspire her to have hope in her tomorrows and get FIRED UP and Ready to GO!
LISTEN and Rise Up for Others
Take time to really LISTEN to the voices in your community. Don’t wait for someone else to step up and take action. You’ll already have the resources from your local elected official. Start an email chain of action. Start a Petition. Especially take time to really LISTEN to the voice OUTSIDE of your community.
How can you help them be heard?
I ask of you to be kind to others in all that you do.
Rise Up by Royce Mann
A young boy named Royce Mann shares his empowering poem RISE UP at MLK Ebenezer Church. Listen and be inspired to rise up for those whom voices are not being heard in this new year. Be their voice.
If our youth is able to see and vocalize all of this, there’s something that needs to CHANGE.
“Let’s rise up. Let’s rise up with those overlooked and undervalued by society.”
This past week we celebrated the life work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This young man was able to express what is means to be an advocate for others through his poem and now is in the national spotlight. I’m sure his parents were a voice to him and inspired him to be a voice.
Rise up for Advocacy through Civic Involvement
Civic involvement is the best way to make a difference for your child’s future. There are numerous ways to make your views known to legislators on Capitol Hill and to our new president.
Ways to Advocate from GirlUp.Org
Women Behind Organizing the Women’s March on Washington from Vogue.com
This weekend the nation and the world will experience something that has not be seen orchestrated for many years. Women and men in the hundreds of thousands will be stepping forward to express their voice for equality. Over a million have joined online throughout the world.
There are many empowering voices took the stage at Woman’s March 2017.
Will you be listening?
I’m proud to say that many friends that attended the Women’s March in Washington DC and many others who are a part of the Sister Marches in each state. Are you involved?
What can our children learn from this? Will you rise up?
“We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families – recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.” ~ Mission of Woman’s March
Will you be supporting the voices that need support?
Let’s join together to RISE UP for advocating for those that need our support. Will you join me?
Try these ideas for teaching kids about voting and election day.
Kim – this is my favorite thing you have ever written. No matter the readers politics this isn’t just inspirational it’s a practical guide for being involved. We know as educators that a successful classroom has a strong home- school relationship and a strong democracy needs to have a strong people to government one too. You have helped so many of us make that connection with this post!
Kim Vij says
Coming from you Allie, that means so much. Thank you! Thanks for being such an inspiration with all that you share with your voice. Step by step we’ll find ways to make our children’s tomorrow a place they’ll grow and succeed and love one another with the utmost respect.
amy mascott says
KIM!!! I CANNOT EVEN TELL YOU HOW MUCH I LOVE THIS!! Really and truly, there is one piece of our political system that should be bipartisan, and I truly think it should be the civic duty piece that we need to emphasize to our children. This is awesome.
Thank you for using this incredible platform to inform others about how they can–and should–be involved!
Kim Vij says
Amy thank you so much for your kind words, you’ve taught me so much about being active with your community over the years with all that you do at Teach Mama and with your own family. Looking forward to seeing how we can use our voices together to help build a better future for our children in this nation.
Thank you for sharing these great tips…I just heard someone say this weekend, the time has passed for us to be passive citizens. It’s no longer acceptable. Get involved and I love that you share ways we all can get involved.
Kim Vij says
If we’re all involved can you image the impact we can make. Thanks Julie for your kind words and for sharing your support. Was such fun seeing your photos you shared on your travel to DC.