What You Can Do to Celebrate This July 4th

The 4th of July is coming up! Along with the cook-outs and fireworks, it’s a time to reflect upon and celebrate our country. Undoubtedly, one of the greatest qualities of the USA that Americans celebrate is our democracy.

But considering the strain Americans are under, keeping up on current issues and participating in the political process can be a challenge.  We’re juggling multiple jobs.  We’re caring for children, and sometimes parents.  We’re rearranging our lives to try to make ends meet as everything gets more expensive. We’re helping out family members who are looking for work. Or we’re scrambling to find work ourselves. And some politicians make participation in our democracy even more challenging with misleading rhetoric and voter suppression laws.

If we’re squeezed out of our democracy, how much will the American government be “of the people, by the people, for the people”?

This is where Working America comes in.  We help folks have a say in our democracy.  Our teams of neighborhood organizers talk with people at their doors, update them on issues and policies that impact their lives, and engage them in quick and meaningful actions to improve things. Becoming a member of Working America is an opportunity to make a difference.

Through our member program, folks can choose from an incredible array of opportunities to participate in our democracy:

-          Get updated on policies our politicians are considering that will impact our economy, schools, jobs, health care, etc. Our Pittsburgh Community Action Team members have learned about concrete solutions we can promote that will ease the widely-felt pain caused by Gov. Corbett’s recent state budgets.

-          Learn how to write letters to the editor that can educate the community. One of our Pittsburgh members – a former Head Start teacher – had his letter published in our local major paper today.  Another Pittsburgh member – a local restaurant employee – got word this week that his letter will be published soon.   It’s estimated that letters to the editor in our major local paper can reach hundreds of thousands of people (yes, hundreds of thousands).  They’re an excellent way to educate community members about issues that our elected officials will be making decisions about.

-          Sit down and talk with your elected officials about what they should do to best represent you, your family, or your community.  Really. Here in Pennsylvania, Working America has about half a million members, and when we tell an elected official how many members we have in his or her district, he or she is often willing to sit down with us and hear what our members have to say.  Recently, Working America members in the Pittsburgh area met with 4 state legislators (and the staffers of another) to highlight how their families and communities would benefit from better public schools, more affordable higher education, stronger social services, and greater corporate accountability.

This 4th of July, along with enjoying the fireworks, celebrate our country by taking a step to strengthen our democracy.  Connect with your local Working America office , and bolster our country’s ability to be “of the people, by the people, for the people.”