We Voted, Now What?

Signs from a protest.

It’s week three of the Biden presidency, and while we’re not being subjected to the circus we’ve lived through since 2016, it’s important to approach this presidency as a work in progress. Communities of color mobilized to deliver Biden the White House, and it’s vital to continue the work on the ground to keep the momentum going. We’re recommending some ways to stay politically engaged even in a non-major election year.

Holding our government accountable

This is #1 on the list. Historically, Democrats have gotten too comfortable with victory and frequently failed to deliver on promises, causing them to lose future elections. It’s important to continue to hold the Biden administration accountable for all of the promises they made on the campaign trail – this includes a comprehensive plan for immigration, canceling student loan debt, the expansion of healthcare for all, and effective climate change policy.

Womam saying "Do your job".break up love GIF by WE tvGiphy

Engage in your local elections

It may be a non-major election year, but 2021 still has many local elections taking place for seats on everything from your local school board to county commissioner or city council. We must not forget that a lot of the people we see in Congress tend to begin in these locally elected positions, so that candidate could be the next AOC! So pay attention to your local elections – change begins at home.

Barack Obama saying "Don't boo, vote!".Voting Barack Obama GIF by Democratic National ConventionGiphy

Join an advocacy group for a cause you care about

Do you support restoring voting rights to the formerly incarcerated? Do you want more progressives in government serving your needs? Do you want to see climate change policies enacted in your city or town? Join an advocacy group and volunteer for causes you believe in! From non-partisan groups doing good to mobilize music fans like HeadCount to progressive causes like NextGen looking to empower younger voters or Latinx-led groups leading intersectional movements like Migente, there is a group that needs your help to make a difference and change the political landscape forever.

People dancing wearing shirts that say "Live united".Excited Live United GIF by Metro United WayGiphy

Call your representatives

Let your state and federal representatives and senators know whether you support or are against something they have taken a stance on. Inform them of issues important to you. It is vital to democracy to voice your opinion to give your publicly elected officials an opportunity to do their jobs on behalf of their constituents. You can call the old fashioned way, or use a service like ResistBot to text them if that’s your thing. And trust us, they care about what people are contacting them about. Each office keeps a daily tally of what people are calling about. Your phone call, email, or text truly does make a difference.

Clip from The Simpsons where Marge is calling the Senator.Marge Simpson Money GIF by INTO ACTIONGiphy

Consider a run for public office

Not seeing the change in your community? Feeling like you could probably do a better job? Join the resistance and run for public office. There are plenty of ways to figure out what job you’d do well in, but some of our favorite resources include Run For Something, She Should Run, and Matriarch to help you get your resources in order. The world needs younger, progressive candidates to represent their communities!

Woman saying "I applaud everyone who runs for office".Election 2016 Bustle GIF by WatchUsRunGiphy

a four image collage featuring queer actresses MJ Rodriguez, Aubrey Plaza, Tessa Thompson and Sara Ramirez

Amid the ongoing push towards equality and visibility for the LGBTQ+ community, the influence of public figures who identify as part of this community is undeniably crucial. They contribute to this narrative significantly, their impact transcending their professional boundaries to create safe spaces and ignite discussions that shatter stereotypes and nurture inclusivity. Today, we shine a spotlight on four prominent Latina trailblazers who are making their mark:

Tessa Thompson

Tessa Thompson, an Afro-Panamanian actress, has earned widespread recognition for her performances in films like "Creed" and "Thor: Ragnarok". Thompson is open about her bisexuality and uses her platform to advocate for LGBTQ+ representation in the entertainment industry. Her role in "Thor: Ragnarok" is considered a landmark as Valkyrie is one of the first explicitly queer characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While the explicitness of Valkyrie's bisexuality was contested in the cinematic release, Thompson has confirmed and embraced this aspect of the character. Thompson continues to champion diversity in media, raising the bar for representation in Hollywood.

Aubrey Plaza

Aubrey Plaza, of Puerto Rican and Irish descent, is widely known for her role as April Ludgate on "Parks and Recreation". Plaza publicly came out as bisexual in 2016, and she has since been an outspoken advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. By openly discussing her bisexuality, she has helped increase visibility and eliminate the stigma associated with non-heterosexual orientations. Additionally, her portrayal of queer characters, like in the film "Happiest Season", provides much-needed representation and adds to the authenticity of LGBTQ+ characters in media.

Sara Ramirez

Sara Ramirez, a Mexican-American actress, singer, and activist, is best known for her role as Dr. Callie Torres on "Grey's Anatomy". Ramirez, who identifies as non-binary and bisexual, has been a tireless advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. Their portrayal of Dr. Torres, one of the longest-running queer characters on television, has significantly influenced the way bisexuality is understood and depicted in popular media. Off-screen, Ramirez is heavily involved in LGBTQ+ advocacy, serving on the board of organizations like True Colors United, which works to combat homelessness among LGBTQ+ youth.

MJ Rodriguez

MJ Rodriguez, of Afro-Puerto Rican descent, has made history as a trailblazer for transgender individuals, particularly in the world of television. Rodriguez's groundbreaking role as Blanca Evangelista on "Pose" earned her critical acclaim and marked a significant milestone for trans representation on screen. Rodriguez is open about her identity as a trans woman, leveraging her platform to call attention to issues affecting the transgender community. Her achievements, both as an actress and activist, provide a beacon of hope and inspiration for transgender individuals worldwide.

Through their activism and their work in the media, these prominent figures are not only changing the conversation around LGBTQ+ rights and representation but also shaping a more inclusive and accepting future. In honoring their contributions, we also acknowledge the progress still needed and the ongoing efforts of countless others in the fight for equality and acceptance.