I've always voted but haven’t really done much otherwise. One of my two big professional regrets is that I never interned or worked on the Hill. (the other professional regret is not getting a Master’s in Public Health) When I was an undergrad you had to choose between a Hill internship or study abroad. I chose study abroad, and as a result I have a very imperfect understanding of the Congressional forces that affect my life and work. There is no Schoolhouse Rock video for what is going on now.
In 2016 the election campaign was a distant event for me; I found it distasteful and abhorrent. I donated money to HRC and voted for her. That was it. Then politics truly became personal, in the guise of policies that affect my family directly - the Muslim ban to start with. Fear for Mohamed whenever he went on a work trip within the U.S. Strategizing on what to do if he were ever stopped on the road or returning to the US.
In 2018 people I knew and appreciated ran for office (Levi Tillemann, Gina Ortiz Jones, and Brent Beal); my home teacher raised money for the opponent of my other home teacher’s boss; I volunteered for Diversity Declaration which supported Andy Kim. We even got involved in the local school board election (in generally disenfranchised DC). Mo got out the vote on election day in Northern Virginia. And I wrote So.Many.Postcards. By myself and in groups. There's so little I can do under the double bind of working for the federal government and living in the District.
So yeah. Complacency in our household is dead.