Tips for the Everyday Activist – April 2007
BY “ECO-GAL” Mayre Press
Readers may be interested in how to “step up” their participation in the green movement. Hundreds of activities related to Earth Day, officially Sunday, April 22, are planned at local, regional, national and international levels. We’ll mention some local venues, but first provide ideas on how to be an everyday activist.
Mike Farrell, star of television series such as Mash and Providence, wrote a book titled, “Just Call Me Mike, A Journey to Actor and Activist.” At a recent book signing, Farrell stated he doesn’t like the term “activist” as it suggests an “us vs. them” mentality. He believes that a “soft, rational voice has more impact than screaming in their faces (when trying to make a point).”
As a human rights advocate, his travels have taken him to Egypt, Somalia, Nicaragua and El Salvador. Farrell pointed out that his job is “to give voice to what people cannot say for themselves.” So he speaks out about the need for fresh drinking water and safe shelter for Somalians and others.
Readers, without the means to travel internationally, can embrace the phrase, “Think globally, act locally.” Climate Control is a big issue. If you are unable to attend a rally, write (postcards are effective). or call your senators. Why not email your senators? According to Karen Orenstein, National Outreach Coordinator, National Audubon Society, “Sometimes emails are perceived as not being from a real person.”
U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D)
713 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
U.S. Senator Richard Durbin (D)
332 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
At the local level, write a Letter to the Editor to show support for or against an issue or candidate. If the issue can be resolved by contacting municipal elected officials, attend a city council or village board of trustees meeting. Generally, a public comment period is set aside prior to the council’s or board’s work for that evening. If you feel strongly about an issue, sign-up to speak out or “give voice” for someone who can’t attend.
Being an informed constituent is key to becoming an effective activist.
The issues/events presented are just a sampling of what’s available and does not represent an endorsement of any group or its activities. Contact Eco Gal at firstname.lastname@example.org.