The next four years, and the future of our planet will be determined by us, not Donald Trump. Trump campaigned on a platform of rolling back environmental policy to the dark ages, and we can only take his word that he will try to do just that. He has already appointed a climate denier to head the EPA transition, and is considering a fracking mogul to lead the Department of Energy. His administration will be stacked with polluting interests and anti science extremists.
But Trump and his polluter friends can’t just walk back all the progress we’ve made over the last 45 years since we started passing federal environmental laws. It’s on us to stand up for what is right. Giving up is not an option. I am finding hope in the outpouring of raised voices and support for Clean Water since the election. Clearly people are fired up to fight back. A lot of folks are asking what they can do, so here are a few things that YOU can control to make a difference in protecting our planet.
1. Stay vigilant. This is not normal. Whether it’s bragging about sexual assault, racism, or climate denial, Donald Trump’s views on the world are not normal and do not represent most Americans’ opinions. We cannot afford to accept that someone who doesn’t believe in science is the leader of the free world. Remind yourself everyday that this is not normal. The moment we accept it, is the moment we will have lost.
2. Show up. There will be no shortage of opportunities to take to the streets for what you believe in. Peaceful protest is empowering and builds our movement. Show the world what we stand for. Democracy is not a spectator sport, so join in! There are numerous actions you can attend, including ongoing actions against the Dakota Access pipeline in cities across the country, or the Women's March on Washington on January 21.
3. Get involved in local and state campaigns, where real change happens. Show up for legislative hearings, city council meetings, and vote in local elections. Campaign for the Board of Supervisors candidate you believe in. Or run for office yourself. A hostile federal government can be the spark for local action. My home state of California passed some of its most important environmental laws, like our landmark Global Warming Solutions Act in 2006, when George W. Bush was busy weakening federal laws. Check in with our offices around the country to see what’s happening in your area.
4. Walk the walk with personal decisions. There are a number of ways you can protect the environment without the help of the Federal government. It’s on us to do our part no matter what. From how we get around town, to what we eat, and what we buy, there are dozens of everyday choices we can make to reduce our impact. Trump can’t take that away. Personally, I have committed to reducing the amount of meat I will eat. What can you commit to doing better on?
5. Stay engaged on federal issues. While it might seem bleak in Washington, we need your help to play defense. We can and will do our best to hold the line in DC. But we can’t do it without support from around the country. Does your representative in Congress hear from you regularly? Write them. Call them. Show up at their office in your district. Attend town halls. If they’re good, support them. If they are bad, vote them out! We’ll be keeping you updated for ways you can take action, so make sure you connect with us and stay in the loop. Like us on facebook and follow us on twitter.
6. Become a professional organizer. That’s right, fighting for what you believe in is a great way to earn a living. Clean Water Action is hiring in cities across the country for field and phone canvass positions. You might be surprised to learn that a career in activism is in your future. I started my Clean Water career knocking on doors. One of the best decisions I ever made.
7. Support a broad movement for progress. We must band together with others fighting for justice. The Trump administration is a threat to all of us and so many issues, so solidarity will be more important than ever. Support progressive causes, like Black Lives Matter, the labor movement, immigrant rights, marriage equality, the rights of disabled people, refugees, equal pay, abortion access… the list goes on. We are stronger when we fight together, and in the face of a unique threat like Trump, our strength will be in our ability stick together.
8. Support organizations doing the work. There is no shortage of non-profits fighting the disastrous policies of the Trump administration. Support them. With money. It takes resources to win, so invest in the causes that you believe in. There a lot of great groups out there to support. We hope you can become member of Clean Water Action. Help us fight for clean water and better future.