PROVE YOU CAN RALLY.
If you’re passionate about an issue, other people probably are too.
Make your voices stronger by bringing them together. Attend a local rally or meet-up, or even organize your own! Collectively supporting or protesting an issue will command attention from the local public or even the media. Some event websites like Eventful or Meetup can help you find political rallies in your area. Facebook likely has a number of event pages for rallies, as well.
Similar to a rally is the opportunity to attend a town hall meeting or event with a representative. It doesn’t even have to be a formal event- anywhere a representative might have staff or a booth is a great place for you to express your opinions. The official or their staff will likely take questions from the public at such events, allowing you and other interested individuals to voice their concerns or suggestions. These events, too, might get media coverage.
Subscribe to you local representatives offices’ mailing lists and you’ll receive emails when they host formal events like town hall meetings, breakfast events, candidate forums, and community engagements. Information about these events can also be found on the representative’s website, or by calling the office to inquire about upcoming public appearances.
At the end of any rally or town hall event, exchange contact information with fellow activists and the representative’s office staffers. Building a network can only benefit you in the future, and it makes it possible to follow up on promises made at the events.
Other events and opportunities where you can learn more about particular issues and politics are on campus and on the hill. Programs such as CrossCheck Live and guest lectures can provide lots of insight on popular current issues. Find out who is lecturing at UCLA here.
If you want to get involved on a political level, but don’t know where to start, try your local parties and neighborhood council! Getting involved with your state and local party is a great way to meet like minded people who also are looking for ways to be active. Find your local district and what your party is working on here for Democrats and here for Republicans. You can also start attending and getting involved with community events, such as the Westwood Neighborhood Council.
Last but not least, there are plenty of advocacy and community groups near UCLA where you can get involved. Some who have particular ties to current student issues include;
Abundant Housing LA — Housing Affordability
Evolve — Prop 13 Reform
Environment California — Environment
Planned Parenthood Advocacy LA — Healthcare
Westwood Community Council — Local Issues
Does it look like a lot? It is! But don’t feel overwhelmed. These resources are here for you to find your outlet and the best way for you to get involved. Find something you are passionate about, and make your voice heard!
Q: What do people do at political rallies?
A: Rallies can take many forms, but most take place in public spaces and include a combination of protesting and community discussion, possibly led by a keynote speaker. Some may look like the typical picket sign protests on the side of a busy street, and some may be more of a think tank for consciousness raising.
Q: What kind of questions should I ask politicians at town hall events?
A: When you stand up to ask your question, begin by stating your name and neighborhood. Personal stories that lead to a question about policy can be effective and memorable, as long as you keep the anecdote brief. Simple yes/no questions or a request that a representative state their beliefs on an issue are often effective.