On Monday evening, during a closed-room vote, the House GOP proposed major changes to the independent Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE). Under the new rules, the OCE would no longer operate as an independent agency. It would, instead, answer to the House Ethics Committee, putting Congress in charge of policing itself.
The public outcry was swift and effective. According to the Washington Post’s Robert Costa, members of Congress cited constituent concerns as the most important factor in their decision to sideline the proposed changes to OCE.
This moment serves as a reminder of the power of civic engagement. As I’ve said here before – being a citizen does not begin and end on Election Day. It’s a 365-day-a-year job.
Make civic engagement your New Year’s resolution. Here are some ways you can get and stay involved throughout the year –
(1) Vote regularly at the local, state, and national level and help persuade others to vote, as well
(2) Contact elected officials
(3) Volunteer in your local community or for an organization with statewide or national goals
(4) Active membership in a group or association
(5) Giving or fundraising for a cause that’s important to you.
(6) Displaying buttons, signs, and stickers related to an issue important to you, your local community or the nation.
(7) Sign online or written petitions
(8) Write a letter to the editor
(9) Boycott or protest
(10) Discuss issues that matter to you with people in your network.
(11) MAKE SURE YOU STAY INFORMED! Information is the key to meaningful engagement!