Four ways to also be a grassroots advocate

I am an advocate for healthcare in Utah, as one of just five sponsors of Utah Decides Healthcare, which is Proposition 3 on the ballot.

You can also be an advocate for an issue you are passionate about. As John F. Kennedy said, "Ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country."

Here are four ways to turn your passion into action:

1)    Subscribe to email updates from organizations whose cause you care about.

This will keep you in the know of what those entities are doing and show you ways to help. It will energize you to see what reform may be on the horizon and that other folks are hard at work to make that change happen.

As an example, it has been useful for me to receive emails from the Utah Health Policy Project.

2)    Meet regularly with a group of people who share your civic concerns.

This will also charge your batteries and generate brainstorming, where best ideas can come to the forefront and result in action plans for change. And you may develop wonderful friendships!

As an example, I am the secretary of the Democratic healthcare caucus, a county and state delegate for Cache County Democrats, and a Voterise 2020 Challenge Ambassador.

3)    Visit your state legislative website and look up meeting schedules, legislative work, and bills being debated during the legislative session.

Information is available to know when important issues are being deliberated in terms of law, how they are being developed in terms of bills, and what the various arguments are as legislation is considered.

Utah’s legislative website is le.utah.gov.

4)    Write down your concern and email it to your elected representative on the local, state, or federal level. Don’t be afraid to share personal experiences and stories.

Make sure to put words to what your interest is about, and get it in front of those who have power to do something about it. Remember that there are multiple governments where officials are elected and where your concern can be addressed. And make it a priority to connect them to your journey by revealing your humanity. Vulnerability unlocks the ability for folks to be able to feel your pain and strength, and gain an understanding of your concerns.

You can find state legislators at https://le.utah.gov/GIS/findDistrict.jsp and federal officials at https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/UT. Many municipality addresses end in “utah.gov,” but if not, you may be able to find it through a Google search.