Lack of knowledge
Solution: High school (and beyond!) civics classes, reading newspapers and investing in good, fair and balanced news outlets. Developing an understanding about the processes and laws around these processes, especially related to voting, public protesting, etc., can make civic engagement much less scary.
Lack of representation: People might feel that they don鈥檛 want to engage in civic life if they don鈥檛 think that their elected officials represent their interests. Similarly, if people of color and immigrants can鈥檛 see elected officials who represent their identities, participation in civic life may seem unproductive.
Solution: This feeling of being self-defeat can help by working with an interest group (like HFA) because it鈥檚 easier to see your opponents as being surmountable if you have others you work with. Power in numbers!
Fear of employer retribution: Many workplaces have policies for how and when employees can protest. If people have a contract with their employer, they not only have to fulfil the requirements of the law, but also need to follow the stated policies.
Solution: Passing and enforcing Just Cause legislation, which requires sufficient cause to terminate an employee, can be a solution to this.
Voting barriers: Voting regulations, like voter ID laws or for example, modern day poll taxes like this example from Florida can affect public participation in the electoral process.
Solution: Protecting the right to vote for disenfranchised communities is essential to creating a strong, ethical society that is representative of everyone.