Fed up? Speak up.

Fed up? Speak up.

It isn’t news. As Americans, our overall opinion of the federal government isn’t exactly stellar and hasn’t been for decades. Perhaps that’s why more than half of us believe ordinary citizens could do the job better than our current elected officials (and to that, we say, run for office!)

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And distrust in the political process, our leaders, or the institutions that back those in power is often accompanied by frustration and even anger, which makes staying involved tedious, but hear me out: it shouldn’t hinder engagement. Our leaders in Washington D.C. have an obligation to ensure they uphold their constitutional duties, and we have the right to call them out when they don’t. Plus, let’s not forget that the Presidential election isn’t the only one that matters; we can (and should) exercise our right to vote on the local level for women and men who are committed to promoting policies that enable Philadelphia families to thrive, regardless of their zip codes.

Let your frustration motivate you to get involved at the local level to make a difference right in your own backyard. Not sure where to start? Here are our top suggestions:

1. Volunteer on a local campaign – Knock on doors. Post to social media. Help plan events. Use your skills to raise awareness for the candidate you support. We know a few candidates and causes that need volunteers and we'd be happy to connect you!

2. Host a “Write Your Rep” Party – You don’t need a call center to get your local legislator’s attention. Rally some dedicated friends around a cause you care about and keep on hand your representative’s email address or phone number and plenty of snacks (who says popcorn and politics can’t go hand-in-hand?).

3. If you’re able, donate – In one weekend, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) raised more money than it did in all of 2016. You may think your gift doesn’t make a difference, but when you combine it with the giving power of millions of concerned citizens, that’s serious impact. And to advance issues that will strengthen Philly communities and empower millennials, please consider donating to Philly Set Go.

4. Mark your calendar – Ninety percent of making a difference is showing up. Check out the City’s Meetings and Events schedule for updates, agendas, and initiatives.

5. Bring a friend – And when you show up, invite a co-worker, neighbor or friend. Democracy works best when more voices are included.

6. Stay informed – Subscribe to Philly Set Go’s updates to keep up with events and initiatives that affect our communities, and to receive invites to Philly Set Go events.

If you cringe every time your phone pings you with a news alert or feel disillusioned by talking heads’ back-and-forth banter, this one’s for you. Remember that your voice is the tool we need to build a stronger, fairer Philadelphia.