After the midterm elections, it’s really tempting to sit back and expect things to fall into place for the 2020 presidential race. But, this is the time to really get involved as much as possible to push things over the finish line. During the 2016 Presidential election, there were way too many citizens sitting on the sideline and assuming that their candidate would win. Policies and laws affect every single person whether you vote or not, so why not be a part of the process that will determine the trajectory of individuals lives. Adopting certain practices and habits will serve you well in making sure your voice is being heard in the upcoming election and beyond.  

The midterm results brought along some major gains for Democrats such as taking control over the House of Representatives and electing some young, progressive minds to tackle some old systems still in place within government. Democrats control over the House allows for much-needed checks and balances for the President, but it shouldn’t discount that Republicans still have control over the Senate and executive and judicial branches of government. The House does have the upper hand in setting the legislative agenda, preventing Trump from enacting more tax cuts, as well as, probing into the Presidents Russia ties. While these gains will assist in the 2020 election, there were some major losses in key states that could have made a substantial difference. “Republicans are celebrating holding off some high-profile Democrat challenges – Beto O’Rourke failed to unseat Senator Ted Cruz in Texas, and Andrew Gillum failed in his bid to become the first black governor of Florida, losing to the stridently pro-Trump Ron DeSantis” (Telegraph). Another major blow was Stacey Abrams loss to Brian Kemp in the Georgia race, which resulted in a ­media blitz highlighting the voting inequalities across the state. Polling places were not being properly equipped in urban neighborhoods, and as Abrams proclaimed, she was even having a difficult time voting. Gerrymandering is unfortunately still a thing, so combating this abuse of power alone will require several ground-level efforts across states. Intelligently analyzing what has been done and what needs to be done should be apart of everyone’s journey to continuing the upward trend.

 

Now you may be asking yourself, “what can I do?”. Going at it alone is an option but sometimes the energy of others is the push you need to make a real impact. Attending conferences or summits, much like the Women AdvaNCe Conference held in Asheville NC back in November. The event covered many topics including The #MeToo Movement, women’s health care, economic issues, a postmortem on midterm elections, and environmental issues. Events such as this tend to re-energize and bring back the realities of how much more needs to be done. Engaging and networking is always encouraged in these environments and essential to accounting for more votes come 2020. Also, getting involved in your own community is important. Highly visible politicians already have numerous people vying for their attention, but getting to know your local representatives is far too underrated. If you didn’t already know, there are always town hall meetings in local communities that can be attended by anyone. By starting within the community, it will create a good foundation for who you want to see in higher positions. Set your own pace but don’t stop seeking methods and resolutions.

 

There is still a lot that needs to be done and the opportunities are there to take advantage of. Maintaining momentum is crucial to the continuation of what we saw in the midterms.