10 ways to be politically active beyond safety pins

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Have you seen people wearing safety pins? Here's why. (jpcb52/Instagram | therobyocom/Instagram)

Across the country, those opposing and supporting the election of Donald Trump are making their voices heard on social media and in the streets. Trump's victory also sparked the #SafetyPin movement, where people change their Facebook profile picture and wear the pins on their clothes as a symbol of solidarity with minorities who feel marginalized and unsafe following the 2016 election.

However, some say the safety pins are not enough. If you really want to get involved in politics beyond social media activism, here's how:

1. Know who your local legislators and politicians
Here's where to find your House Representative
Put your address in here to find a full list of your elected officials

2. Call your local representative and make them listen
Your cell phone is not just for texting. You are more likely to get a response by calling your local or state representative. If you're not sure about what to say, here's a great Twitter threat from a former Congressional staffer about how to get politicians to listen to you.

Here are some general guidelines on how to contact elected representatives.

3. Attend town hall meetings
A town hall meeting is an informal gathering involving the community and local politicians. Your congressman will usually have a schedule of town hall meetings on their website or you can check the city's website too.

4. Attend city council meetings
Anyone can attend a city council meeting -- it's a great opportunity for you to see and hear what's important to city legislators. The Houston City Council meets at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday afternoons and 9am on Wednesday mornings in the Council Chamber on the second floor of City Hall, 901 Bagby, Houston 77002.

The Tuesday session is devoted to public comment. Sign up to speak for Tuesday Public Session by calling the City Secretary's office at 832-393-1100 or sending an email to citysecretary@houstontx.gov. If you want to see the Houston City Council calendar or their agenda, click here.

5. Get to know your local school board
If you have kids in school, you probably need to know about your school board. Here's everything about what a school board does and how you can get involved. If your child attends HISD, here's everything you need to know about the school board, including how you can speak at a board meeting.

6. Join your local PTA
Dozens of studies have shown that when parents get involved, children do better in school. Volunteering with the PTA directly impacts your community. Here's how (and why) to join.

7. Join a campaign
If you find a candidate who represents the change you want to see in the world, volunteer to help them win their office. Maybe they'll have you stuff mailers or put up signs -- things that actually get stuff done.

8. Volunteer to work at a polling place
To start, you can get registered on the Election Assistance Commission's website.

9. Volunteer at a place that benefits your community
There are so many organizations in need of assistance, and it is easy to find a volunteer position that aligns with a cause important to you. Finding the right volunteer opportunity does require some research, but two good places to start are Volunteer Houston and Volunteer Match.

10. Report incidents of hate
"See something, say something" is not just a Homeland Security motto, it's also a call to action which reminds us all not to be a silent bystander. The Southern Poverty Law Center has provided an entire guide on how to stand up to bigoted incidents at work, school and even among family and friends.
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