ONE’s California Congressional District Leader Andrew Garretson explains how he is putting the active in activism.
Come with me, and you’ll see, a world of pure imagination! I could only think to sing the words of Willy Wonka as 10 ONE members stepped into the elevator at Senator Diane Feinstein’s office building in Los Angeles a few weeks ago. The world that my fellow ONE members and I were imagining,of course, was one that worked together to eradicate extreme poverty.
The meeting kickstarted a string of ONE activities over the next few weeks, including the ONE Power Summit (which I got to follow along on Twitter) and ONE’s National Call-In Day, which I supported from California as a group of top ONE members met with their members of Congress on Capitol Hill. All this amazing activity with ONE reminded me why I became an activist in the first place. When I began signing petitions online almost 10 years ago, I never thought there was more to activism than that clicking buttons. These days, they call that “clicktivism” or “couch activism.” It gets such a bad rep these days, but it’s those small actions that led me to where I am today: a Congressional District Leader (CDL) with ONE, a volunteer leader on the front lines in the fight against extreme poverty.
Andrew and the members of the California district. Photo credit: Andrew Garretson
I became a CDL in 2009, and since then, I have been a part of nearly 24 Congressional and Senate office meetings in Southern California and Washington, D.C. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my ONE Regional Field Director, Roscoe Mapps, who recruited and mentored me into being a CDL in Los Angeles for ONE. And I couldn’t have done it without taking that single step outside my comfort zone for a few minutes and signing an online petition with ONE.
For those of you who are wondering how to make that next step from being a clicktivist to an activist for ONE is to take a risk and make a phone call. There are times when I have thought about giving up as a volunteer as life got busy, but every time I get close to backing off my involvement, ONE pops right back up with another call to action, getting me to dive right back in!
Interested in stepping up and fighting alongside Andrew and ONE volunteers across the country? Send us a note to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will plug you in with a local organizer. And for those of you who are wondering how to make that next step from being a clicktivist to an activist for ONE, take a risk and make a phone call.