Every day our email inboxes, Facebook feeds, Twitter accounts and message boxes are filled with requests for petition signings, calls, and donations. It's overwhelming, we know.

We at Defendemocracy believe in what has always worked: Start at home. Go from small to big. If we all do that, our efforts will trickle up and form a storm cloud of change.

1. In your house: Talk with your family about what you want for them in this world. Ask your kids for ideas, encourage them to get involved and feel powerful. This can be anything from marching to having a lemonade stand for a cause. Our kids are the future.

2. In your town: Join your DTC, or a grassroots group that makes you feel useful. Make it a routine to call your representatives: YouLobby makes it easy with scripts, or download 5Calls to your phone.

Support a candidate running for a democratic seat - or run for office yourself! You don't need to know all the issues before you begin. You just need to care. Emerge America trains and supports women (a CT chapter is starting this Fall)!

3. Engage with Leaders: Even if our Senators are Democrats, they need your calls and your emails, and money. Campaigns are expensive, and the Republicans always have more to spend. Give what you can. 

Congressman Jim Himes: (866)453-0028 or (202)225-5541

Senator Richard Blumenthal: (860)258-6940 or (202)224-2823

Senator Chris Murphy: (860)549-8463 or (202)224-4041

4. VOTE: Vote Local and Vote Often! The smallest elections matter! Your mayors and first selectmen, your board of ed, your department of finance, etc. are seeds that will grow into bigger representation. They are also the last defense. When the national picture or the state picture looks bleak, your town representatives can take a stand. They are more powerful than you think.

5. In general: Look for the good. There are groups and opportunities all the time. Join call banks, host a fundraiser! Read and watch real, responsible news. Most of all, talk with people. Don't give in to the partisan divide that is taking over our media. Ask questions, share your thoughts, and listen.