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5 Things You Can Do During the Debate (Besides Yell at Your TV)

Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore We’re in the final sprint of this election.  I know you’re probably tired of hearing all the ads, exhausted from all the cable news chatter, and maybe even a little anxious.

So I’ll cut right to the chase.  We only have 53 days left to roll up our sleeves, do everything we can, and make sure that we don't have any regrets once all the ballots are counted.

My own first steps toward getting involved in public service began during my days at Wellesley College.  Now it’s your time to make a difference in our country’s future.  I hear from young people every day who want to make sure we’re helping families and students get ahead.  I know I can help make that possible, because it’s what I’ve always done.

Soon, I’ll debate Donald Trump here at Hofstra University.  I have a very different vision for our country’s future, and I can’t wait to share it.  But we all know what to expect from my opponent: insults and ugly words, not just about me (I can take it) but about anyone and everyone.  It could be a DREAMer in Arizona.  It could be a prisoners of war.  It could be the Pope.  You never know.

I know we’re better than that.

So when you’re watching the debate, I’m sure there will be times when you want to throw things at the screen.  Don’t do that.  It’s not your TV or your computer’s fault.  If you want to stand up to Donald Trump and make sure he gets nowhere near the White House, here are five things you can do that will actually make a difference in this election.

  1. Volunteer. I promise, this is a truly fun thing to do and you’ll feel so good when you’re done.  You’ll meet people you’d never meet otherwise.  And you’ll really be a part of something greater than yourself.

Our campaign has set a goal of registering and committing 3 million voters between now and Election Day.  Now that is a big goal.  We really could use your help.  Go to to get plugged in.  There are so many ways to get involved, from making calls (you can do it right in your room!) to knocking on doors and registering people to vote.

  1. Host an organizer. There are fired-up volunteers flooding into battleground states right now.  If you or someone you know has an extra bed, futon, or couch to offer, you can host a volunteer.  You won’t see them very much; they’ll be out hitting the pavement every day.  Also, who knows – maybe you guys will become lifelong friends.  What a great story.  Why would you stand in the way of that?
  1. Use your talents. Maybe you’re a law student with some free time on the weekends.  Maybe you’re an artist with a really great idea for a mural.  Those are skills we can put to good use.  We’re looking for lawyers and law students to help make sure everyone can cast their ballot.  We’re looking for artists and coders to bring great ideas to life and reach as many voters as we can between now and Election Day.  Volunteering your skills—and not just your time—is a huge help.
  1. Pitch in what you can afford.   We’re building this campaign $5, $10, and $20 at a time.  Every single donation – no matter how small – makes a real difference.  In fact, we’re counting on them.  Your $5 might not seem like a lot, but it can help buy clipboards for a field office, print a stack of fliers, and cover gas to get a few people to the polls.
  1. VOTE!  President Obama likes to say, “don’t boo, vote.”   He’s so right.  You can shout, roll your eyes, take your frustrations out on Twitter, or post that Facebook rant you’ve been working on.  But at the end of day, there’s only one thing that will keep Donald Trump out of the Oval Office next year.  And that’s voting.

You can also text JOIN to 47246 to get important updates from our Brooklyn headquarters.  That will connect you to all the latest news.  Plus, we’ll let you know when, where, and how your help can be most valuable.

Our campaign is about building an economy that works for everyone… supporting education, so going to school never has to mean going into debt… and standing up against racism and all kinds of bigotry, because we firmly believe that love trumps hate and we’re stronger together.  If you agree, then this is the campaign for you.

Everything you can do in this election will count.  And every single one of you has the power to make a real impact between now and Election Day.

So don’t feel helpless or cynical, even in the face of today’s political discourse.

Take action.  It’s the best cure for helplessness and cynicism that I know.


The views and opinions expressed in the Op-Ed section are those of the authors of the articles. They are not an endorsement of the views of The Chronicle or its staff. The Chronicle does not discriminate based on the opinions of the authors.

The Chronicle reached out to the campaign of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and have yet to receive a response.


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