Introducing Acts of Conscience

A compilation of actions you can take to fight for American democracy

A few days ago, I released Acts of Conscience, a new website that collects the many actions people are recommending to fight the Trump administration’s assaults on democratic government, civil rights, our planet, and more. The site lets you specify your areas of interest, how much time you have, where you live and more, and shows you specific actions you can take. It also allows you to submit actions you think are missing from the list.

Why did I create it? I was raised in an activist family. My childhood memories include dozens of rallies and marches, including one day at the Pentagon when I was 8 or 10 and, rolling down a hill as children do, I rolled right under the rope keeping the anti-war protesters out. When my mother would tell that story, she’d say how worried she was that I’d be shot.

As an adult, I’ve been deeply involved in my community and have given thousands of hours to organizations I care about. But I thought my activist days were over.

In the days following the 2016 election, in addition to feeling loss and grief, I found myself overwhelmed by the magnitude of the work ahead. I was concerned about the future of the American experiment and our democratic institutions, as well as about the future of the planet, due to climate change and the possibility of nuclear war. I worried that having so many areas of concern would lead me to feeling paralyzed.

To avoid that paralysis, I committed myself to doing what I called an “act of resistance” every day. Each act didn’t have to be large or complicated, just a concrete action that had some chance, however small, of effecting change. More importantly, I tried for actions that when combined with the actions of others, had a larger chance of making a difference. My actions varied from calling one or more legislators to signing petitions to writing a letter to my state’s electors to donating to effective organizations and more.

Early on, I started sharing my acts on Facebook, tagged as #ActOfResistance. I found that my friends sometimes acted on them or shared them. People told me how much they appreciated them.

Now I’m sharing my personal commitment with the movement that’s growing across our country, trying to make it easy for those who’ve never or rarely been politically active to do so. The goal of this site is to serve as a registry for actions you can take, organized in a way that makes it quick and easy for you to find an action that fits your personality, available time, and interests.

You’ll see that the name here is Acts of Conscience, not Acts (or Act) of Resistance. With the guidance of a diverse advisory group, I’ve chosen to focus on the positive, not the negative. By taking these actions, we are patriots, doing what our consciences require.

I won’t be generating the actions on the list. There are now lots of organizations (you’ll see many of their names on the site) who are more knowledgeable doing that. My goal is to provide a one-stop shop for those who want to act.

I hope you’ll join us by committing to taking action regularly. If you want to do more, submit actions you come across, or volunteer to help review new actions that come in or to help manage our FaceBook and Twitter feeds. Please let me know if you have ideas for making the site more useful. (I actually already have a number of ideas for improvements.)

We’ve already seen that concerted action by concerned citizens can change government behavior. I hope Acts of Conscience will make it easy for you to keep acting.