Real Activism 101 

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on Advocate.com October 15 2008 11:00 PM ET

Are you ready to
do more than slap a cheeky bumper sticker on your car
and become a Facebook fan for your candidate? Here's how you
can stop playing armchair quarterback and actually
make a difference this fall.

Become a Polling Monitor

Every election we
hear about people being illegally disenfranchised by
being turned away from voting booths or removed from the
registered voter list. Stand up for everyone’s
right to vote by volunteering at a polling place, to
make sure that everyone gets a chance to pull the lever.

 Make
Calls for Marriage

• Visit LetCaliforniaRing.org for volunteer
events, phone bank opportunities, or to create a
"wedding registry.”

• E-mail
Becky Corran ([email protected]) for a
list of Arizona voters to call, then urge them to vote
against Arizona's Proposition 102.


Floridians can go to SayNo2.com to host an event, make
calls, or help with mailings.

Campaign in a Swing State

The polls are
tight in several states that could make the difference, as
Ohio did in 2004 and Florida in 2000. Contact party or
campaign headquarters in Virginia, New Hampshire,
Colorado, Michigan, Ohio, Florida, Missouri,
or Pennsylvania for how you can tip those states
in your favor. Visit My.BarackObama.com/StatePages
or JohnMcCain.com/SignUp.

House a Volunteer

Exercise your
Third Amendment right (sort of) by taking in a hotel-less
volunteer while he or she pounds the pavement through the
state to recruit undecided voters. You'll save the
campaign money by housing a volunteer and make a new
friend in the process. Contact your local campaign
office to offer up your couch.

Hit the Streets

Request campaign
literature from your candidate's nearest office and
canvass a high-traffic area or go door-to-door in your
neighborhood. Visit my.barackobama.com/modules/votercontact/login_signup.php
to join Obama's locally customized campaign, or visit
JohnMcCain.com/SignUp for local volunteer
opportunities.