#002: Beyond the over-hyped election, what else can we do to make positive changes & policies in the U.S.?

My inner social studies teacher is kicking me right now, telling me "of course the vote is important, it's your civic duty, it's how our voices are heard, etc." I don't believe that as much as when I was a wide-eyed, newly-registered political innocent, certain that my scrap of paper in the box meant a lot to somebody out there. Then again, that's about all I was taught regarding political participation.