Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Mouse That Roared

Since it is election day in Los Angeles, I think I will talk about the power of an individual to bring about change - and it is getting easier all the time. These days, it can be done with the click of a mouse. The other day I signed an online petition - it took me about 30 seconds to read through the issue then click the "Sign" box to add my voice. The following recounts the result of that petition, in the words of Derek Nance, the petition's originator:

"What a week. Last Thursday night, I started a petition on asking Carly Rae Jepsen [singer of the hit song "Call Me Maybe"] and Train not to perform at the Boy Scouts of America National Jamboree this summer unless openly gay scouts and leaders would be welcome to attend. 
By Friday morning, 3,000 people had signed. On Friday evening, Train pulled out, saying: "Train strongly opposes any kind of policy that questions the equality of any American citizen."
Now, four days later, more than 60,000 people -- including you -- have signed my petition. And this morning, Carly Rae Jepsen tweeted this:
"As an artist who believes in equality for all people, I will not be participating in the Boy Scouts of America Jamboree this summer."
This is an incredible victory." 

And I participated in bringing it about! With the click of a mouse!

I have signed many such online petitions over the past year, and not all of them have succeeded in bringing about any change or provoking any meaningful action. But a lot of them have. I have helped people get re-negotiations with banks about to evict them. I have gotten people re-hired and gotten them back wages after they were unjustly fired. I have saved a number of animals' lives. I have told Congress my opinion on crucial issues. 

The opportunities of the internet and the proliferation of social media make getting involved and making a difference so easy. And it feels so good. 

GVR Corcillo

author of

Queen of the Universe coming this Fall

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