This month, the United Nations General Assembly and President Obama will each host a summit to address the global refugee and migration crises. On September 19, the UN will be hosting a high-level summit
to address large movements of refugees and migrants. The next day, President Obama will host a Leaders’ Summit on Refugees
to encourage global leaders to make significant new commitments towards increasing financial support, resettlement, education, and employment opportunities for refugees. ( More details and a script to call your senators and representatives with. )
Support for an overhaul of the criminal justice system surged this year after months of calls and pressure from advocates like you across the country. Decades of harsh and overly unfair prison sentencing policies have devastated communities. From overcrowding in prisons and skyrocketing federal detention costs, to countless families unnecessarily separated for small nonviolent crimes, reform is urgent now. ( More information and link to an email you can send your Senators about it. )
A few notes on why this is important. Politicians do not, by and large, pay attention to online petitions. You see, they long ago figured out that huge numbers of people who sign online petitions either a) don't live in their districts or b) aren't going to vote anyway. Young people are more likely to sign petitions like that, and pass them around; young people are the demographic least likely to vote. Why should a politician care about what someone who isn't going to vote thinks? Answer: they don't! But people who call their office or email them directly
, those are a horse of a different color. Particularly those who talk about specific bills and whether they should or shouldn't support them. People who do that? Those are the people who are absolutely going to vote. Those are the people who are paying attention and holding them accountable. So those are the people they listen to. Do you want politicians to listen to your opinions? Then call or email them directly about specific policies, and follow it up by voting not just in national elections, but every local election too.
This does not guarantee that they will do what you want all the time, or that people you agree with will get elected. But at least you have a shot this way.