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Run for Local Office to Make Big Change

In today's Solution of the Day, a former protest organizer says to ditch the picket signs for real change.

The co-creator of the Occupy Wall Street movement, is now using his platform as an activist to encourage people to stop protesting and start taking real action.

After the failure of the Occupy Wall Street movement,  co-creator Micah White had a theory: that running for local office would produce better results than large-scale protesting. Last November, he tested that theory by running for mayor of Nehalem, Oregon, where he currently resides. He lost, but his campaign showed him exactly where in government things are going wrong.

The cornerstone of his campaign was making a more responsive local government. More people showed up to his community meetings than the city council meetings. Even after his loss, he continued to sit on the budget council, advocating for the community and drawing on his community action experiences to do so.

White told NPR that protesters should “put down the picket sign” and create progressive pockets of power by talking with those with whom you disagree. He added that citizens should figure out how they can “own, not occupy” city halls and use their small platforms as a stepping stone to impact their country for the better.

“We have to do this,” he said in an interview with NPR. “We could do protesting forever. And it would do nothing.”

Read the full story here (via NPR)

Here’s what else we’re reading:

With a Daily Dial, Police Reach Out to Seniors

Hundreds of police agencies in small towns and rural areas nationwide are implementing programs to check in on seniors who live alone by making one free, automated phone call every day. The computerized calling system is inexpensive to operate and maintain and offers an important service to a growing population of seniors, about half of which still live alone. Advocates for older adults say that these programs can help seniors continue to live independently and cause them, and their families, much less worry. (via GovTech)

At College, a Guided Path on Which to Find Oneself

Colleges nationwide are implementing “guided pathway programs” to assist part-time students in graduating on time without wasting their money. Guided pathway programs provide rigid structure to a degree plan and carefully outline every course a student should take to attain their degree and when they should take them. The structure is especially helpful for, and geared towards, first-generation college students who often don’t have the support or the structure to make an informed decision about their degree path. (via The New York Times)

Photo header: NPR

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