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Beyond Voting: Skills You Need to Get Sh*t Done in a Democracy


Beyond Voting: Skills You Need to Get Sh*t Done in a Democracy

Alexis Bonogofsky

A woman in the back of the room raised her hand.

“I didn’t even know this was a thing,” she said.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Public hearings. I didn’t know they happened.”

In my hometown of Billings, Montana, I was leading a training on effective public commenting last month at the local library. We had just finished watching a five-minute video I put together with a few examples of compelling speakers.


Thank you! As a eldest from the Baby Boomers generation who have been an activists in 60's and 70's against war in 60's and 2000's and for women rights, I thought that environmental victories, victories for women rights and war to a lesser of degree had been won and for many years took these victories for granted.

They are all being challenged again by the republican party for 30 years and on steroid under Trump. They gained ground by watering down education for citizens, gerrymandering, voter suppression and money, money money from powerful elites.


Oh please, I cannot wait until the second installment. The "resist manual" I am convinced was a toy given us by this regime, to feel we were doing something. Thing is, this surreal cruel sadistic regime, #fuckfacevontrumpstick and house of middle school, and cabinet of billionaire's club; they don't care what we the subhuman citizens state, or march, or call, or say. Hurry! Tell us what we CAN do! A mere 3 1/2 months into this Billionaires Club, I know this was plotted while the house "refused to work" for the past 4 years. That this imposter president had outside help "winning". We need fight for our very freedoms, civil rights, our very Constitutional nation. Organize and share again, please!!! Thank you. :slight_smile:


Thanks for the inspiration. I look forward to reading more about your trainings.

Meantime, here's list of question I came up with based on your article. I plan on asking my organizer friends how they answer these questions.

  • What does it mean to be a citizen? Is anyone a citizen?

  • When I call my State or Federal Senator or Representative, City Council member or County Commissioner, the Mayor, the Governor, the Sheriff or the President, does it make a difference? I made a call once, it didn't feel like it mattered.

  • How do I find the number to call?

  • Do I stick with one topic or unload with everything that bothers me?

  • Do they keep track of who calls and what they say?

  • Will they ask me why I think the way I do? I might not have a good answer ready to debate them.

  • Do I have the right to make the call?

  • Do I have to live in the district for my call to matter?

  • How often should I call?

  • How many people should I call?

  • What is lobbying?

  • What is public commenting?

  • What is a hearing?

  • How should I be most effective at a public hearing?

  • How should I be most effective when I call?

  • How do I learn about issues that affect me or are important to me?

  • How do I learn about public hearings?

Thanks. John from Oregon


We live in a country of zombies! We live in a country that prohibits real political discussion! Its hard to believe the unionized teachers are controlling the schools---because they are not doing their JOB! over half the people in this country don't vote---most have no idea how the three branches of government work---including congress people and the president?????--I don't know if its the fluoride in the water or what----Do Americans realize what we are doing around the world????-----Trump talks about killing innocents-----the US-TRUMP KILLED HOW MANY KIDS SINCE HE TOOK OFFICE?????????WILL WE GET A REAL UNDERSTANDING OF THIS IN THE MEDIA????

Thank You Lawrence O'Donnell for pointing out that the US used chemical weapons in Vietnam -napalm.

The big elitist news of the day is that a guy got bumped off a plane in Chicago----IN CHICAGO 843 HAVE BEEN KILLED SINCE JAN 1-----THIS WEEK ALONE 22 PEOPLE HAVE BEEN GUNNED DOWN!


"The unionized teachers are controlling the schools", really? It is hard to believe.


One has to continue to be stunned: Why are they angry at the Earth???? We must take action, and not just comment. We boomers know how.


Why are teachers continuing to be targeted????

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You mean you do not like unions. You must have voted for Trump. Not the site for you.


We sure do and we need cross organize.


Yes, and across the parties, the generations, the countries etc. We are here for one reason: to protect our Earth not to profit off of her. Thank you for your post!


"We are here for one reason: to protect our Earth not to profit off of her.' Love that!



This got attention only because he is a doctor.


Thank you, and right back at you.