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The Women's March on Washington and its sister marches around the world were among the most-attended protests (opens in new tab) in history. Women and men rallied to advocate for gender equality and fundamental human rights, and the combined voices of the estimated 3+ million (opens in new tab) who marched made a huge political statement.
But...now what? How can we carry the momentum forward? How can we move past the symbolic to the effective? How can we create actual, tangible change?
Start here. Right now.
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The organizers of the Women's March on Washington are making it easy for supporters to find their next step with their new campaign, 10 Actions for the First 100 Days (opens in new tab). Sign up for updates and receive a new, actionable goal every 10 days for the first 100 days of Donald Trump's presidency. The first action is a postcard-writing campaign to U.S. Senators.
2. Support progressives in swing districts.
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SwingLeft (opens in new tab) is a site that aims to help Democrats take back the House in 2018. They're targeting "swing" districts—places where the last House of Representatives election was a tight race. While it will take more than the swing districts for Democrats to take control of the House, it's a great start for people looking to focus their time and effort where it can have the biggest impact. It's especially helpful for progressives who live in districts that typically go to Democrats.
3. Call your legislators.
Calling your legislators is one of the single most effective ways to make your voice heard and press for changes in Congress. Daily Action (opens in new tab) is striving to help by making "civic engagement easy and logistically painless." Sign up for text alerts and every day, Daily Action will send you an issue that needs to be urgently addressed where you live, and then connect you with your representative, senator, or other relevant official to do your civic duty. The best part? The whole process takes less than two minutes a day. No excuses.
4. Visit your legislators.
If you have more time to dedicate to your activism, consider scheduling an in-district lobby visit with your senator or representative. As CNN (opens in new tab) notes, organizations like the Human Rights Campaign (opens in new tab) encourage people to exercise their right to request face-to-face time with their legislators to discuss the issues that matter to them.
5. Run for something—or help other progressives run.
In the wake of the 2016 election, Democrats are looking to build a strong bench for the future of the party. That means finding young progressives to run at the local level to both enact change and gain the experience they'll need to succeed in national elections in the future.
Organizations like Run for Something (opens in new tab) are mobilizing to help young progressives run for office. Groups like Emily's List (opens in new tab), Emerge America (opens in new tab), and Ignite (opens in new tab) focus specifically on women, while the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund (opens in new tab) focuses on the LGBT community and the New American Leaders Project (opens in new tab) focuses on immigrant communities. Even if you're not interested in running yourself, you can donate time and money to help other likeminded young women take the leap.
6. Donate or volunteer to causes you care about.
Staying involved after the march doesn't have to be directly political. You can also donate your time to help organizations that need support now more than ever, like local branches of Planned Parenthood (opens in new tab) and the ACLU (opens in new tab). If you're looking for organizations to support, the Women's March partners page (opens in new tab) is a great place to start.
7. Organize an event in your area.
If you're having trouble finding a way to keep fighting in your hometown, consider taking the initiative to plan an event of your own. As we learned in such a big way from the Women's Marches, in-person events and rallies are key to energizing people to take action, and action is exactly what we need right now.
You can plan something entirely on your own or turn to larger organizations for inspiration. "The resistance doesn't stop with a march or a protest in D.C., and we want to keep the drumbeat going and the pressure on from all sides and states," Generation Progress Action (opens in new tab) spokesman Kyle Epstein said, according to CNN (opens in new tab).
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Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
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