Keeping the gears of democracy properly oiled is the responsibility of every American citizen. Chicago-based artist and comics creator (and friend of The A.V. Club) Lucy Knisley wanted to remind herself of that fact on a regular basis, especially with a new president set to take office in January 2017, so she created a series of customizable political calling cards that she could affix to her own bulletin board. The civic-minded Knisley has made these printable cards available for free on her own website so that members of the public may use them as well. They’re an excellent way of keeping track of the names and contact information for various local and national lawmakers.
And, since it helps to be prepared when calling powerful politicians, the cards are a good way to stay on-message when discussing particular hot button issues. Knisley has made cards about Standing Rock, Steve Bannon, and the numerous financial conflicts of Donald Trump. But users can write in whatever issues they want. If they’re feeling artistically inclined, they can even add little hand-drawn portraits of their elected representatives, as Knisley has done with Illinois senator Dick Durbin.
Communicating with elected representatives can sometimes feel cold and impersonal, even Kafkaesque, so these do-it-yourself cards make the whole process seem a lot more human. The cards have been designed to take up one-fourth of a standard 8.5” by 11” sheet of paper. Coloring them in is optional, though this, too, might be another effective way to work through some post-election stress. The one constant throughout Kinsley’s cards is this bit of sage advice: “Take a deep, cleansing breath.” That’s something people may find themselves doing a lot for the next four years.