American identity is by nature political, and involving yourself in issues that matter isn’t always easy. So what does a civic life actually look like? Here are four concrete ways to become more civically engaged in the new year:
- Get to know your local officials and representatives. Familiarize yourself with everyone from your governor to your local school board members. Learn their policy platforms and what they stand for.
- Have more productive arguments. “The point of civic life in this country is not to avoid such tensions. It is for us all to wrestle perpetually with these differences, to fashion hybrid solutions that work for the times until they don’t, and then to start again.” -Eric Liu, Director of the Aspen Institute Citizenship and American Identity Program.
- Learn to fact-check for yourself and others. It seems like a passive step, but knowing how to sort fact from fiction is increasingly crucial for civic engagement.
- Vote. Voting, especially in 2018’s midterm elections, is the most fundamental democratic input we have as citizens.
Being civically engaged isn’t the easiest resolution to make, but it may be one of the most rewarding. If you’re looking for a way to better yourself and give back to society at the same time, you don’t have to wait until November to make your voice heard.
Read the full article steps to practicing civic engagement by Sean McGovern at The Aspen Institute.
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