The other day, I wrote about online petitions. Related to that, there is this broader notion that some might call "clicktivism." While I haven't found a formal definition, let's just say for the sake of discussion this is some sort of web element that gets people more involved. Generally, users are encouraged to donate, write a letter, or sign a petition online.
While it has been proven that this form of engagement can be very effective in raising money, writing letters or signing a petition not much seems to be done to tie it to the local level.
Writing letters, donating, and contacting elected officials are just a few ways of getting involved in the civic arena. What about attending public meetings to speak about an issue as illustrated in Norman Rockwell's painting? Don't want to go alone? What about enlisting a friend or a new acquaintence that you met while volunteering at a local organization?Alternatively, you can even just connect with strangers and talk about it with others as in the Conversation Cafe or Meetup model. While the last two do not really involve direct action, it does connect people within a community and lays the foundation for action by virtue of illustrating that you are not alone in your interests, and beliefs. You can then turn around and get some of them to go to an event or public meeting, or you can work on a project like, such as those run by youth at DoSomething.org.
If you are like me and want something more tangible than clicktivism, I encourage you to try any of the suggestions above. I'd love to hear how it goes for you, and also any other suggestions people might have.