Learn more about local issues and get involved in local government
A first step is to find blogs that cover your community. http://LeftyBlogs.com and http://www.placeblogger.com are good resources for this.
You'll find that your local municipal and county governments deal with many issues that you care about, including the civil rights, protecting the environment, alternatives to fossil fuels, gay and lesbian rights, and so much more.
So few activists ever contact their local government. In fact you can have a huge impact on these issues by just writing a letter or attending a meeting and speaking out. If you stay involved you will find other people who share your concerns, and you can make even bigger changes.