Talking politics IRL

Working in the nonprofit world as I do, I get bombarded with invitations to meaningful events, urgent actions, and of course, fundraisers galore. Every issue, every cause, is important…to someone. Sometimes, to me.

In the fervor and anguish of this year’s election cycle, the issues of voting, civic engagement, and democracy have floated up to the surface of the mire and muck  of my professional and personal worlds. And so, in goes the proverbial toe.

No, I’m not launching a campaign. I’m not even canvassing for a candidate. I might volunteer to do some voter registration, I might even drive some folks to the polls*. But I got an invitation to listen to folks who do care a lot about voter engagement, voting rights, and getting civically engaged.

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There are several reasons why this might be worth my time and money:

  • Possibly for noble and inspiring reasons like duty, America, democracy, Hamilton
  • It’s also possible that I want to meet Pat Kiernan. If you’re not from NYC, then you might not know the inexplicably charismatic local news anchor. You might have known him, had he been selected as Kelly Ripa’s sidekick instead of that Michael Strahan character.**
  • Most importantly, open bar!

Will this all make me a better person? Who knows? If not better, then maybe slightly better-informed. If we all did a little something to more actively participate in our democracy, maybe we’d all have fewer reasons to move to Canada.

But if these people don’t convince me to do something about making democracy work, then there’s only one thing that will: The West Wing.

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* Seriously people, you heard it here first. I’m going to talk to my City Councilmember about creating the Actual Voter Drive™, where volunteers actually drive people to pollsites. It’s going to happen. I’m sure pesky issues like insurance or liability will come up, but you never know..

** I bet she’s kicking herself over that one now.

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[Featured image from Haley’s Comic, offering commentary on how society behaves during election years. A snippet is below. Click on image for the whole post.]

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