Is Hindsight 2020? What We Can Do to Stay Involved

Amy Weisberg, M.Ed.By Amy Weisberg, M.Ed.      October 2, 2020

Share Story on:

Is Hindsight 2020? What We Can Do to Stay Involved
Photo concept: T.E. Zeri

“Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”

—Ruth Bader Ginsburg—
2020 was supposed to be a great year. At least that’s what I thought at the end of December as I looked forward to the year ahead. I was visiting my eldest daughter and her family in Berkeley, enjoying the company of my granddaughter and was grateful to be with family, and for the fact that I had another week left of winter break. As always during the first week of January, I created my vision board for the year ahead, a tradition that I still enjoy with my youngest daughter. I had so much to look forward to—travel adventures, beach days, season tickets to musicals at the Pantages Theater, and the continual moving forward, building my life according to the way I envision it, taking nothing for granted. So I thought. What I did take for granted was government leaders who would have our best interests at heart. What I could never envision in my wildest dreams was a world-wide pandemic that would arrive and change everyone’s lives, ending the lives of so many. We have become cut off from each other and from the world; are disrespected by our former allies; become a country so polarized that it has affected the relationships of families and friends. We have lost the unity that I grew up with. Our States are no longer United. I have lived through political unrest, protests, demands for social change, both republican and democrat administrations, economic highs and lows, but I have never witnessed the deterioration of our society the way I have in the last year. So, if hindsight is 2020, we need to view this year, 2020, through the lens of future generations, our children and grandchildren, who will look back at this time in history and say, “What did you do to help?” I, for one, am thinking about this and am not content to say that I retweeted things posted on Twitter, or “liked” some Facebook posts that spoke to my views. Simply agreeing with those who agree with us, is not creating change, or even a conversation that can help improve our country. As a teacher, I am fortunate to impact the lives of my students by teaching them to read, to problem-solve, to have positive social interactions and listen to each other with open hearts. But in 2020, I became really scared about the world we (elders) are leaving for these young children. We are facing a race with climate change that could make areas of our country uninhabitable for humans, animals, and vegetation. We are facing racism, proudly on display and supported by so many in the current administration. We are seeing a rise in anti-Semitism that compares to Germany leading up to World War II. We have people terrified of losing their health care, especially during a pandemic and a country that has so many problems, and so few solutions. We search for the truth and struggle to find unbiased factual information. It is easy to turn off the news, to check out, to retreat into hopelessness, or worse, to become even more self-absorbed than we already are. I can’t slide down this tunnel of despair without at least putting up a fight, so I started searching for some way to take action, to be involved in the efforts to reclaim the country I grew up in, the United States I was proud of for most of my life. We are weeks away from what will be a life-changing election, either way it goes, and we can watch from the sidelines or get involved. There are many ways to get involved by taking action from the comfort of your home or stepping outside your comfort zone. Here are a few ways to help: ENCOURAGE VOTER TURNOUT Vote America (voteamerica.com) focuses on voter registration. “Four-million citizens will turn 18 this year. Another 40 million Americans are going to move. All of them will need to register to vote.” This year, 30-40% of the people who don’t vote in any given election, are already registered to vote. Help them register and get to the polls.” Project Vote (projectvote.org/issues/civic-engagement/gotv-programs). This national, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization is founded on the belief that an organized, diverse electorate is the key to a better America. Project Vote’s mission is to build an electorate that accurately represents the diversity of this nation’s citizenry, and to ensure that every eligible citizen can register, vote, and cast a ballot that counts.” Vote Forward (votefwd.org). This is a 501 (c) (4) nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower grassroots volunteers to help register voters from under-represented demographics and encourage them to vote. “We build tools to enable Americans, wherever they may be, to encourage fellow citizens to participate in our democracy.” HELP SUPPORT CHANGE Post Cards to Swing States(postcardstoswingstates.com). Although most of the post cards have been sent, you can still chip in $35 to cover postage for a volunteer. Turnout2020 (turnout2020.org). Turnout 2020 is a national voter outreach campaign from Progressive Turnout Project, powered by volunteers. They are calling 12 million inconsistent Democratic voters and swing voters in districts across the country to take back the White House, flip the Senate, and expand the House majority. “No matter where you live, we need your help!” Three States One Mission (indivisiblechicago.com/three-states-one-mission). “It’s GO TIME! The clock is ticking down to November 3, 2020 and we need you! We’re providing resources, training, and opportunities so none of us has to go into this fight alone. This is what you’re here for. Together, we planned for this moment for nearly four years. With COVID-19 putting door-to-door outreach on hold, we’ve doubled down on phone banking as our best means of engaging directly with voters. Join our Zoom phone banking events to make the critical calls to voters in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Illinois. First time caller or need a refresher? We have training sessions to get you ready. Want to let your fingers do the talking? Join our text banking team. We have recently completed a project to send 15.7 million postcards to voters in swing states.” HELP WITH THE ELECTION Poll Worker Information (sos.ca.gov/elections/poll-worker-information). Before each statewide election, thousands of Californians sign up to help put on the single most important event we hold in a democracy: casting our vote. County elections officials depend on reliable, dedicated teams of poll workers to make every Election Day run smoothly. Are you registered? (vote.gov) This guide has essential information you want to know such as: November 3 is Election Day. Polls are open 7 a.m.-8 p.m. October 5, counties will begin mailing vote-by-mail ballots. October 19 is the last day to register to vote. These are a few ways to get involved and help maintain our democracy that was founded on the right to vote and improved by the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a landmark piece of federal legislation in the United States that prohibits racial discrimination in voting. It was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson during the height of the civil rights movement on August 6, 1965, which Congress later amended five times to expand its protections. If you want to avoid 2020 hindsight, I encourage you to practice foresight as we move towards 2021, a year that we can only hope will allow the visions we all have for a kind, inclusive, supportive country that we can be proud to have our children inherit.
Amy Weisberg, M.Ed.

Share Story on:

October 2, 2020

ARCHIVE  |  October 2, 2020  |  OPINION 
PHOTOGRAPHY
NEWS
ELECTIONS 2020
EDITORIAL
CULTURE
OPINION
ART
BOOKS
TRAVEL