I have been so disgusted and enraged at the draconian anti-abortion policies being passed in states across the country. The power of state legislators is quite frightening. What is even more frightening is the fact that most Americans could not name their elected representatives beyond the executive level, if that. What we witnessed coming out of Georgia, Ohio, Missouri and Alabama are just the most egregious of the states passing laws that will roll back freedoms for women. Unfortunately, there are several other states (and I must stress, these are states from across the country and not just in the south) who are slowly defunding educational services, passing restrictive immigration policies, and further destroying the environment due to their greed.
So, what should we do? I always encourage people to run for office or support those who are doing so. It is also important to support brilliant candidates even if they are not in your own state. When smart and compassionate candidates dare to challenge the establishment and incumbents, they need financial support to win the election and begin to create the democracy we deserve. It is also incredibly important to stay informed as to what your electeds are discussing, who is leading policy discussions, who is missing important votes, who is phoning it in, and who is reporting back to their community and providing the goods and services they need.
School may be out for me this summer, but I always have time to give a pop quiz. So, without looking at your phone for the answers, try to answer these questions based on what you know without peeking. If you do not receive a 100 percent on the quiz, you know you have work to do. So much focus is on Washington, D.C. these days, which is important. However, it is imperative we know who is in charge of our fates at the local and statewide levels.
Here goes: Who are the governor and lieutenant governor of your state? Who is the mayor of your city? Who are your two U.S. senators? Who is your state senator? Who is your state legislator? Who is your City Council member? What major legislation has been passed in your state/city this year? Which party controls your state senate and state house? When are your primary elections? Do you live in a single party district?
If you were stumped by any of these questions, you have work to do. If you answered all questions correctly, please give the quiz to people in your community to make sure they are informed. Don’t forget to tithe politically in order to create the democracy you want and need. We must remain active in our electoral spheres to ensure security and progress.
Christina Greer, Ph.D., is an associate professor at Fordham University, the author of “Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream,” the co-host of the new podcast FAQ-NYC, and the host of The Aftermath and The Counter on Ozy.com.