Thoughts on getting out the vote and our impact.
By Sarah Traugott
This is where you belong by Melody Warnick
I’ll admit that in the days, months and years since the 2016 election I’ve often wondered if I was doing myself, and particularly my young family, a disservice by living in a red state.
Despite all the things we love about Austin, the insidious conservative backlash of 2016 (with legislative attacks on LGBTQ rights, women’s rights, First amendment rights and human rights) had me re-evaluating my sense of place attachment and connection to my community. Like most people, I indulged in some magical thinking that everything would be better if I lived somewhere else…some place more beautiful, more progressive, more tolerant, more blue. But as every good Texan knows by this point in the long, hot summer: the grass isn’t any greener on the other side of the fence; it’s only greener where you water it.
So I sought advice where I always do: in books! Melody Warnick’s really smart, well researched and persuasive book, This is where you belong, showed me there is a lot I can do right here! I can both change my perceptions about my community and actively effect the changes I want to see take place.
Her advice, it turns out, is something that I was doing instinctively by joining groups like Blue Action Democrats:
1. Lace up your sneakers. (Take a walk around your neighborhood to knock on doors.)
2. Say Hi to your neighbors. (I’ve had many terrific conversations with my neighbors and even folks in neighboring communities about our shared political predicament and how we need to engage in positive change.)
3. Do something fun! (I’ve attended picnics, parties and community building gatherings all over Austin to raise money and support for Democratic candidates.)
4. Volunteer! (Volunteer Deputy Registrar…it's in the name! Volunteer at the Democratic HQ on Old Fredericksburg Road. Volunteer to write postcards, throw a fundraising party, etc.)
5. Get More Political. (See above!)
6. Eat Local. (Torchy’s breakfast tacos before block walking!!)
This book, and reflecting about how we water the grass under our own feet to make it greener (and hopefully blue-er) is what’s saving my life this month…what’s saving your life?
Tell us what's saving your life right now. Drop a summary and photo to