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September 17, 2020 60 min

Baratunde explores how, in the absence of national leadership, determined, newly-minted leaders are problem-solving and mobilizing people around them to protect and save lives during this pandemic. Danielle Allen breaks down what has ACTUALLY been happening with regional leadership and how she stays hopeful in the work of protecting all of us during this pandemic. Emergency medicine physician, Dr. Amy Aminlari, shares her experience standing up a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) operation and finding community. 

We have an abundance of wealth and resources in this country, and yet, it has come down to very local and regional cooperation based on existing networks of trust. In this episode, we continue to learn how individuals with varied backgrounds are showing up to fight, leaving their comfort zones, and using the power of their voices, knowledge, and relationships to ensure no one is left unprotected. As our guest, Danielle Allen, put it in her recent Washington Post op-ed, “There is only one real silver bullet. It’s called grit. This is a can-do country, and our determination to beat the disease is our ultimate weapon.”

Show Notes + Links

Follow Danielle @dsallentess on Twitter and Amy’s efforts at @sandiegoppe on IG and national PPE efforts at @lastmileworks and @getusppe on IG. 

Find this episode, a transcript, show notes at

For this episode, here is what you can do


Make a list of the ways you’ve helped others since March 2020. Write it down. 

Which efforts were easy and why? Which ones stretched you or were out of your comfort zone. Why did you do them if they were uncomfortable? Don’t overlook your contributions just because they seemed easy or obvious. After you’ve made the list, look at it and recognize that you’re already citizening. 

Reflect on how else you can use who and what you know to make a difference during the pandemic. 

What additional knowledge or relationships do you have that could uniquely benefit your immediate community in the fight against the pandemic? “Community” could be your friends, family, neighbors, church or civic group, or another interest group. What introductions can you make that might be beneficial? 


Support other “Amy’s” in your community.

Think of other examples of people around you who are practicing how to citizen during this pandemic. Whether those efforts are big or small, how can you support them? 

Start a civic circle as a way to connect purposefully with friends during this time. 

Set aside an hour on Sunday mornings or afternoons to organize an ongoing civic video call with some of your nearest and dearest to discuss ways to get involved, share notes and passions, and think collectively about the power you have to take action. Connecting with others to discuss civic actions that ensure the wellbeing of all can be a new kind of church or brunch depending on your preference. Yes, we miss brunch too!

Dig deeper by checking out the report Danielle Allen helped author

It lays out what we need to invest in to strengthen our democractic culture. See the 31 recommendations, and discover what you are most equipped to help with and where your passion lies. Make a commitment to get involved in that recommendation locally.

We love feedback from our listeners - 

Visit Baratunde's website to sign up for his newsletter to learn about upcoming guests, live tapings, and more. Follow him on Instagram or join his Patreon. You can even text him, like right now at 202-894-8844.

How To Citizen with Baratunde is a production of iHeart Radio Podcasts. Executive produced by Miles Gray, Nick Stumpf, Elizabeth Stewart, and Baratunde Thurston. Produced by Joelle Smith, edited by Justin Smith. Powered by you.

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