March 4 is Do Something Day, an unofficial holiday in advocacy circles. Playing on the homonymic quirk that “March Fourth” sounds like “march forth” when said aloud, Do Something Day encourages people to try something new that enriches their lives or the lives of those in their community. It’s a calendar-based chance to reflect, and then resolve to take that step forward, in big and little ways, to make change happen.
Want to participate in Do Something Day but need some inspiration? Oh, are we glad you asked. Here are four suggestions for you:
1. Register to vote or help someone else register. This one’s easy. Nebraska’s May 12 primary election is fast approaching, and you want to be sure that you’re able to cast your ballots to help shape the future of our state. Not sure if you’re registered? Check here. Then double-check. While you’re at it, join the growing number of Nebraskans who are choosing to vote from home. Any Cornhusker State voter can do it, for any reason. Click here to get started on voting at home.
2. Become a Voting Rights Advocate. As the May 12 primaries approach, we’ll be taking our Election Protection Program to new heights by deploying trained nonpartisan Election Protectors to poll sites around the state. Our volunteers protect the integrity of and help maintain public confidence in our state’s electoral process. Election observation also helps improve the quality of Nebraska elections; Civic Nebraska shares all information it gathers with local and state election officials to identify areas of success, as well as avenues for improvement. Sign up here for more information on Election Protection opportunities.
3. Engage with people outside of your usual political circles. One important tenet of a robust democracy is exchanging ideas with our fellow-citizens, including – especially including – those with whom we may not always see eye-to-eye. Civic Nebraska is a statewide leader in civil discourse training, not to be confused with “politeness training.” Here are a few starting thoughts from our Civic Health team as well as from Civic Nebraska Writers Group columnist Kevin Shinn on how to have a genuinely American conversation. Like the saying goes, life begins outside your comfort zone.
4. Stay informed and engaged. Learning is an act of civic engagement. Pick out a book or a film that delves into democracy, government, current events, or politics, and dive in. We have no shortage of suggestions in those categories – in fact, here are some links to our most recent suggestions on some of our favorite books, movies, and documentaries.
Ready? Now – forward, march!