Sunday, February 19, 2017

There's this thing called an election..

So, we've got an election coming up, here in Southern California. March 7th. But you knew that, right? Because you are registered and you read the mail from the County Clerk/Registrar Recorder's office, the Sample Ballot, right? Right????
In our portion of LA county, there are only 2 things on the ballot: Measure H and a School Board election. Which is more important?
If we pass Measure H, there will be a 1/4% sales tax add-on to pay for homeless services, about $335 Million per year. It has to pass by a 2/3 majority. It will affect massively the work of caring for the homeless: services to help with mental issues, drop and alcohol addiction, family shelters etc. There are 47000 homeless families in LA County. 
The reason we have Measure H, is that the supervisors and the mayor have been arguing for years about getting things done for the homeless. Endless discussions about who, why, how, where have gone on for more than a decade. At this point, it has to be forced down everyone's throat by the people. These people are elected officials. Where did they come from?
The first step to major political office is almost always a smaller, more local office, like School Board. Or Deputy Mayor.
If you have any dreams of one day replacing one of the 2 parties with a third (and believe me, I know the math at least as well as you do), then you might want to think about who we elect for School Board. Because there's a really good chance you'll be hearing those names again in the next 10 years. Do you want those names to be tagged (D) or (R)? Or (L) or (G)? Or (P&F)? This is the moment to think about that. These small elections are where building happens.
The biggest failing that every single 3rd party attempt has made is to not spend enough time building a base of electable people, who bring with them voters to a larger election ("I know Nancy and she's part of this, so it must be good.") This is basic civics. If you are even a little bit serious about changing the way this country runs its political business, you have no excuse to not pay attention to these elections. They happen about every 6 months, sometimes as often as every 3. There are a LOT of people in my FaceBook feed who claim to be so enraged by the last election's options/issues that they would rather see 45 in office than Hillary. Fine, dudes. Put your money where your mouth is. Run for office or support someone who is. Vote in off-cycle elections, Canvass. Be a poll worker. Do something proactive. Or admit that you are simply a whiner.
Me, I'm voting Yes on Measure H. But I'm looking really closely at the 2 School Board candidates to see who is going to haul water for us over the next years. Are we going to get more testing? Or more services? More aides? Who is in favor of what?
And the first person who says, 'They're all the same", is going to be given a sheet of 80 grit sandpaper to wipe their butts with, and be told, "Hey, it's paper too!" There is an actual difference.

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