Don’t move to Canada! 11 swing state cities you should move to instead to help save the country

Via Flickr user wasik.

Via Flickr user wasik.

Canada may sound like a chill place to move right now, but I promise that if you can’t handle the polar vortices of a Brooklyn winter, you cannot handle the sting of Canadian expatriation. If you’re still willing and able to consider a change of scenery after this election season, move to a place where your voice will have an impact on the social level, as well as the political.

Instead of buying a one-way ticket to some other idyllic foreign country, consider instead the much cheaper cost (and the ultimate moral high ground) of a domestic flight to a beautiful new home in a swing state where you can actually make a difference! That way, rather than running away from America’s problems like children, or tunnelling deeper into our East Coast bubbles, we can opt to build safer communities all around the country.

While red-state America may be the LAST place some of you are willing to venture, word on the street is that there are indeed some neater spots in Swingtopia, and I’m here to take you to ‘em. And even though some of these places are less diverse than the glorious melting pot that is New York City, if we keep our social justice goggles on I’m sure we can avoid displacing communities when moving across state lines and we can stand stronger together.

While the ability to up and move is certainly a privilege, and many folks might not feel safe outside of the big blue cities, the only way to change the minds of people in homogenous areas is to change their demographics. As important as it is to see an increase in diverse representation in media, it may be equally important to see an increase in diverse representation in the real homes around our country.

While Brooklyn may be literally my favorite place on earth, the cost of living soars 188% above the national average, the median rent for a studio apartment is $1,293 per month, and the unemployment rate is getting increasingly higher than the national average. So below you’ll find amazing cities across the country, the average rent of a studio apartment, the cost of living, and a link to employment in the city government. Don’t worry if your degree and qualifications make you unfit for government work, we now have presidential precedent that says governing experience doesn’t matter. Go forth and become Leslie Knopes, all of you!

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Via Flickr user joeshlabotnik.

Via Flickr user joeshlabotnik.

Winter Garden, Florida
Average rent: $740
Cost of living: 110% of national average
Get employed
State swung toward: Trump

Cobblestone streets and farmers markets, along with concert halls and art galleries, help make Winter Garden feel more like the neighborhood where all the cool kids are living outside of local big city Orlando. Bye bye Coney Island, hello Disney World! Speaking of magical kingdoms, can anyone say accio butterbeer?

To get active in the community, try checking out statewide organization Dream Defenders, self-described as “an uprising of communities in struggle, shifting culture through transformational organizing.”

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Via Flickr user Skynoir.

Via Flickr user Skynoir.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Average rent: $617
Cost of living: 88% of national average
Get employed
State swung toward: Trump

Yinz need moved here already! Since Austin and Portland aren’t in a swing state, this is probably the best option for folks too accustomed to the creature comforts of the Brooklyn fever dream. A beautiful town with three rivers running through it, city dwellers should feel comfortable stealing away to the Steel City.

To get active in the community: check out the Thomas Merton Center, which seeks to engage “people of diverse philosophies and faiths who find common ground in the nonviolent struggle to bring about a more peaceful and just world.”

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Via Flickr user sbeebe.

You’ll feel right at home. Via Flickr user sbeebe.

Detroit, Michigan
Average rent: $510
Cost of living: 73% of national average
Get employed
State swung toward: Trump

You may no longer be able to find houses on sale for a dollar, but the rumors are true that the young artist community is thriving. This epicenter of industrialization may now be the perfect place to return to simplicity. No town compares to Motown, so be adroit and choose Detroit.

To get active in the community: Try checking out MOSES, a community organizing group that campaigns for social justice in the Detroit metro area.

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Via Flickr user Wendzday.

Via Flickr user Wendzday.

Asheville, North Carolina
Average rent: $646
Cost of living: 109% of national average
Get employed
State swung toward: Trump

If you need a break from city life, and a quiet hippie commune in the mountains sounds amenable, look no further. By living in the mountains, you can just piss outdoors and thus piss on prejudiced state legislation. Just like in Brooklyn, they love all things local here: Local beer, local food and local people, and their own particular local brand of weirdos who take over the streets on the weekeds.

To get active in the community: Try checking out the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, which “partners with communities of color and economically disadvantaged communities in the south to defend and advance their political, social and economic rights through the combination of legal advocacy, research, organizing and communications.”

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Via Flickr user small_realm.

Via Flickr user small_realm.

Charlottesville, Virginia
Average rent: $697
Cost of living: 113% of national average
Get employed
State swung toward: Clinton

If you’re still trying to figure out how the founding fathers saw the world, maybe try living somewhere lots of them did? Charlottesville is a cool college town and close to lots of national forests.

To get active in the community: Try checking out Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice, which works to educate the community and hold the government accountable for peaceful means of seeking justice.

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Via Flickr user pedrosz.

Via Flickr user pedrosz.

Boulder, Colorado
Average rent: $1,085
Cost of living: 178% of national average
Get employed
State swung toward: Clinton

Time to get rocky-mountain high my friends, in a town with all the sunlight but none of the heat. See how easy it is to write your own meaningful folk album in this uber chill town known for great quality of life.

To get active in the community: Try checking out Survivors Organizing for Liberation, which has spent the past 25 years advocating for the safety and justice of the LGBT community in Colorado.

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Ohio artwork and drink menu at 16-Bit Bar + Arcade in downtown Columbus. Via Flickr user aloha75.

Ohio artwork and drink menu at 16-Bit Bar + Arcade in downtown Columbus. Via Flickr user aloha75.

Columbus, Ohio
Average rent: $545
Cost of living: 84% of national average
Get employed
State swung toward: Trump

Come for the state fair, stay for the jazz, theater, and art! Perhaps as the “Biggest Small Town in America,” it is basically as likeable as TV’s favorite fictional town: Pawnee, Indiana. Craft beer and coffee shops abound, so I’d keep an eye on the Buckeye State capital. It helps if you like college football too.

To get active in the community: Try checking out the Ohio branch of the Children’s Defense Fund, which works to secure so many necessary rights for all children.

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Via Flickr user newlow.

The politically active seek sea change in Wisconsin. Via Flickr user newlow.

Madison, Wisconsin
Average rent: $676
Cost of living: 110% of national average
Get employed 
State swung toward: Trump

This may sounds cheesy, but you cheddar believe this is the place to move to in Wisconsin if you vote bleu. It is one of the most biker-friendly towns in the nation, and the nearby university brings a strong community sense of education and activism.

To get active in the community: Try checking out Wisconsin Jobs Now, an organization dedicated to fighting income equality across the state.

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The Beauty Bar in Vegas comes with its own beer garden. Via Facebook.

The Beauty Bar in Vegas comes with its own beer garden. Via Facebook.

Las Vegas, Nevada
Average rent: $717
Cost of living: 105% of national average
Get employed
State swung toward: Clinton

If you’ve built a career in entertainment and hospitality, do I have a town for you! If you are worried about missing the lovable weirdos on the streets of New York — if you ARE the lovable weirdo on the streets of New York — you’ll blend in here nicely and have continued access to urban debauchery. Away from the casinos on the strip, downtown Vegas has been compared to a burgeoning Williamsburg.

To get active in the community: Try checking out the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, which brings diverse organizations together to fight for social and environmental justice.

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Via Flickr user dclemm.

Via Flickr user dclemm.

Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Average rent: $960
Cost of living: 142% of national average
Get employed
State swung toward: Clinton

This quaint seaside city promises both the distractions of a hip cultural center like New York and the attractions of a sleepy New England harbor town. A stone’s skip away from Boston, it might be the perfect place to start writing mystery novels and growing slowly into your Angela Lansbury realness.

To get active in the community: Try checking out the Disability Rights Center, which dedicates itself “to eliminating barriers existing in New Hampshire to the full and equal enjoyment of civil and other legal rights by people with disabilities.”

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Via Flickr user Alan_Light.

Via Flickr user Alan_Light.

Iowa City, Iowa
Average rent: $568
Cost of living: 101% of national average
Get employed 
State swung toward: Trump

Go full on Hannah Horvath and get into the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, here in the gay-friendly part of the state. This city is where Ashton Kutcher was first discovered by a modeling agency, and where the first female mayor of a town with more than 10,000 inhabitants, Emma J. Harvat, was elected in 1923. America, you’re regressing again…

To get active in the community: Try checking out the Iowa City Human Rights Commision, which works to educate the community and eliminate social tensions through public meetings, programs, and legislation.

Follow Steven into the fray: @stevenhajar.

One Comment

  • Chances are once you break away from your densely populated consumer culture areas you will become awakened about the false illusions of mainstream media brainwash. If you move to one of these cities and spend less than 3 hours on social media a day your brain cells will begin to strengthen. Your spiritual connection to reality and ability to critical think for yourself will fully evolve as you no longer are trapped in the hive mind. You will… probably realize that everything you believed was spoon fed lies to perpetuate a globalist military industrial takeover of our country using nonsensical cultural tactics. Once you awaken to reality you will happily vote for someone who is against it, which may not be a politically correct candidate and you realize that as long as YOU treat people with respect, presidential elections have nothing to do with political correctness and everything to do with government corruption. You will want less government interference and will vote accordingly. Onward hive-minded metropolitan zombies! Disconnect from your false realities. We welcome you will open arms. We will teach you how to shoot guns, fish, prepare and be vigilant and support leaders who will allow you freedom from governing oppression. We can read 1984 and watch Metropolis. Lets take our country back! (And these beliefs don’t make you racists! Don’t worry, we will teach you..come on down)