At Generation Citizen, we work to engage young people with government and help them to recognize themselves as changemakers in their communities and our democracy. But we all can, and should, be change agents in our communities and participate in meaningful ways. Our action tactics are not just for youth, but for everyone.
Be part of the solution with our Civic Action Toolkit Developed together with consulting firm, SYPartners
week 1: September 14-18
Explore the history of our democracy and reflect on what civic engagement means to you
Daily Civic Actions for Week 1:
1. Take 15 minutes to reflect on what civic engagement means to you. What's going on in the world today? What's resonating with you today? What is one thing you can do today?
2. Learn more about the history of voting rights in America. Check out our voting rights resources here.
3. Explore your own history/relationship with politics and power, starting with your family or community.
4. Learn more about and reflect on this history of elections in America. Check out our elections fundamentals resources here.
5. Curious about political representation in government throughout American history? Check out our political representation resources here.
WEEK 2: september 21-25
Participate in the democratic process
Daily Civic Actions for Week 2:
1. September 21-25 is High School Voter Registration Week! Help those who are eligible in your community get registered to vote by hosting a virtual voter registration drive. Check out our voter registration resources here.
3. Become a poll worker. Check out our library of poll worker resources here. 4. Make a plan to vote. Will you vote by mail or in person? Will you vote early or on Election Day?
5. Watch the presidential and vice presidential debates. Consider how to engage with others before, during, or after — host a virtual watch party with friends, plan an activity or discussion with your students, and more. Check out our debate resources here.
WEEK 3: september 28 - October 2 Learn more about issues that are new or of interest to you
Daily Civic Actions for Week 3:
1. Sign-up for an informative or thought-provoking newsletter. This could be from a reputable news source, a non-profit or community organization, or a similar outlet.
2. Read an article about an issue you care about and share it if you think it's thought provoking, important, or worthy of discussion.
3. Host a virtual discussion of topics you're interested in. This can be with friends, family or co-workers.
4. Take a class in a civic subject you don’t know much about. Community colleges, bookstores, nonprofit organizations, and public figures might host these.
5. Give a follow, share a follow. Follow three anti-racist writers and/or activists on social media. Bonus points for sharing or re-posting their content.
WEEK 4: OCTOBER 5 - 9 advocate for youth civic power
Daily Civic Actions for Week 4:
1. Check out our brand new 50x2026 campaign to elevate civics education requirements in all 50 states by 2026 and help spread the word to your state legislators and other policymakers.
2. Learn how to support youth civic development and to inform the design of new and improved programs, policies, and practices serving youth from historically underserved communities via our 360 Civic Learning Toolkit.
3. Are you an educator or working with young people and interested in learning how to teach Action Civics? Check out our free professional development platform, Kick Start Action Civics, to learn how.
4. Research your local school budget. Many counties, districts, and schools fund areas differently, and civics education is often under-funded if it’s in the budget at all. Contact school district administrators or local elected officials to advocate for greater investment for civics in your community.
WEEK 5: OCTOBER 12 - 16 engage with your state & local representatives
Daily Civic Actions for Week 5:
1. Identify your local reps and their initiatives here. Disagree with them? Contact them and let them know why. Agree with them? Think about what actions you can take to support them — letting friends know about issues, spreading the word on social media, testifying in support of a bill, and more.
3. Find and follow your state and local representatives on social media. Many share important information and updates there!
4. Attend a community or council meeting. Ask one question or share your thoughts on the topics discussed.
5. Research your state’s policies, and your congressperson’s voting record on issues you care about. Schedule a lobby visit (find out how here) and ask them to support or oppose specific legislation or take action on an issue you care about.
WEEK 6: OCTOBER 19 - 23 share an opinion or perspective on an issue you care about
Daily Civic Actions for Week 6:
1. Share your perspective on an issue you care about with your representatives and call them to action. To take it a step further, learn how to engage your students or family members with our Lobby a Legislator Take Action teacher lesson plan and family guides in English and Spanish.
2. Write an op-ed for a local newspaper or blog. Engage your students or family members with our Write an Op-Ed Take Action teacher lesson plan and family guides in English and Spanish.
3. Find or organize a demonstration about an issue you care about either in person (if safe to do so) or virtually.
4. Sign and share a petition. Be sure to share why they mean something to you!
5. Amplify the voices of other activists, artists, musicians, poets, community leaders and members by sharing their media (article, photography, video, art, etc).
WEEK 7: OCTOBER 26 - 30 GET INVOLVED IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD OR COMMUNITY
Daily Civic Actions for Week 7:
1. Take a deep dive into the resources and services available in your local community. Engage your students or family members in community mapping with our Our Community’s Assets Take Action teacher lesson plan and family guides in English and Spanish.
2. Neighborliness is declining, and current digital solutions often become places to complain and create fear. Connect with neighbors by hosting an icebreaker.
3. Join a community board. Most states have local community boards, and/or community and housing development groups. Join one, and become part of the process.
4. Look up how your community is convening during COVID. Attend a community, government, or political meeting.
5. Host a political gathering for a local candidate, ballot measure, or campaign you support.
WEEK 8: november 2 - 6 get out the vote!
Daily Civic Actions for Week 8:
1. Help ensure that yourself and five eligible friends, family, or community members have a plan to get to the polls on Election Day if you’re voting in person.
2. VOTE! Visit your local elections office's website (find yours here) to make sure you know where and how to vote this year.
3. Share an "I Voted" selfie on social media to encourage your friends, family, and community members to vote too. Don't forget to hashtag #beyondtheballot, too!
4. Host a virtual gathering to debrief election results with peers, friends, and family.
5. Make sure to update your voter registration every time you relocate here.
WEEK 9: NOVEMBER 9 - 13 interact with perspectives & opinions that are different from yours
Daily Civic Actions for Week 9:
1. Talk to family members about an issue you care about, especially if they might have different points of view. Listen to their concerns, thoughts, and ideas, then share your own.
2. Follow public figures or elected officials on social media who may have opposing viewpoints or perspectives.
3. Seek out news from organizations and outlets that hold differing perspectives from your own.
4. Take time to feel uncomfortable. Read an article that pushes your thinking. If you’re uncomfortable or defensive, take time to digest and ask yourself why.
5. Roleplay debate. Have a debate about the merits and downsides of an issue with someone who feels differently. There’s a catch — you each need to argue for the other side.
Don’t forget to share all the ways you’re using our civic action toolkit with #beyondtheballot and tagging us on Twitter at @gencitizen or Instagram@generationcitizen!
This civic action toolkit and the civic power profile quiz were developed in partnership with consulting firm, SYPartners.