The next presidential election will take place on November 3, 2020. Throughout the month, as we count down to the historic event, Vogue examines the huge potential—and stakes—of what’s to come.
In case you missed the fact that Democratic candidates are well and truly battling it out, a reminder: The 2020 presidential election is just a year away. Some, of course, have been prepping for this since President Trump was elected in 2016, but for many of us, figuring out how to get involved in an election year can feel daunting.
Most of the time, advice on political action boils down to “Vote!”—which is great, but it doesn’t necessarily stop there. After the 2016 election, many people wished they had been more active, earlier. This time, with a sitting president facing an impeachment investigation, there’s even more of a reason to contribute, whether it’s time, money, or expertise. How do we make sure our opinions are heard on the campaign’s most contentious issues, from gun control to reproductive rights and police violence, in the mad rush to the finish line?
In that spirit, Vogue asked advocacy groups for their advice about how Americans can prepare for the 2020 election. Here are five concrete, effective ways to participate—and, of course, don’t forget to register to vote.
Run for office to build momentum.
“It’s not too late; in nearly every state, the filing deadline is sometime between early November and July, which means if you’re thinking about running for office, you still have a chance. It’s the best way to ensure your friends and family vote, because you’ll be on the ballot!” —Amanda Litman, cofounder and executive director of Run for Something
Invest your “time, treasures, and talents.”
“Reproductive rights and freedoms are hanging in the balance like never before this year, but it’s also exciting to see so much resilience and know we’re fighting for people to control their own bodies, and thereby their lives and futures. The work we have to do to get to that future is going to take all of us.
Something I heard from my elders in the reproductive rights movement was “invest your time, talents, treasures, and vote.” Time-wise, we’re encouraging folks to canvass with Planned Parenthood supporters; to find out how, visit plannedparenthoodaction.org. Treasures-wise, donate to your favorite candidates, and for help identifying candidates who support health care access, check out our new tool called the Candidate Spotlight. Talent-wise, we want people to educate themselves and be the best resource they can for their communities. Write blogs, write tweets if that’s your skill set; just share your stories. Finally, of course, we all need to get out and vote in the primaries and the general election. Get five friends to commit to register to vote, and make a voting plan together.” —Kelley Robinson, executive director of Planned Parenthood Votes
Show up for the issues you care about.
“For Moms Demand Action, the goal is to keep the issue of gun safety top of mind, both for voters and candidates across the country going into 2020. Because we have this grassroots army of what we call “mothers and others,” we get out the vote, canvass, phone-bank, use Hustle (a texting tool) to reach voters, and travel to each others’ states. The other piece is to show up at town halls, rallies, and candidate events to make sure the issue of gun safety is being talked about. You’ll see dozens or hundreds of Moms Demand Action members in red shirts at events, including debates, and if you want to join us, text the word READY to 64433.” —Shannon Watts, founder, Moms Demand Action
Make sure you’re ready and able to vote.
“Be very aware of voter suppression. A lot of young people, POC, and otherwise marginalized people have a lot up against them when they go to vote, so they should register now and make sure they’re prepared on Election Day. We saw voter suppression become one of the biggest barriers to electing Hillary Clinton in 2016, or Bernie Sanders during the primary, so be as prepared as possible for that. Join an organization you identify with and don’t be afraid to reach out to any candidate’s campaign to get involved.” —Kristen Cervero, national cochair, Young Democratic Socialists of America
Don’t be afraid to stop traffic.
“At Sunrise Movement, we’re using young people’s fear and anger at a generation of failed political leadership to organize our generation and rising up by the millions to demand politicians treat this [climate] crisis like the emergency it is. It’s not just about one specific tactic, like canvassing, voter registration, or social media; it’s about building a movement. When we’re calling for a Green New Deal, which would enact sweeping societal transformation, the only way we’re going to see change is to stop business as usual and bring society to a halt, like we did at the September climate strike.” —Lauren Maunus, political & legislative coordinator, Sunrise Movement
Originally Appeared on Vogue