Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

20%

AZCentral is reporting election turnout of 20% in Maricopa county. They chalk it up to several factors, but what stood out for me was this quote:

“We held an election, and nobody came,” said Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell, who oversees the county’s Elections Department. “Whether it was because they weren’t interested or didn’t have time, I don’t know.”

My dear Helen Purcell, people didn’t come because they didn’t know. They didn’t come because they didn’t realize that the election was the day after a major holiday. They didn’t come because they didn’t feel they had any choices in their district. They didn’t come for many reasons that need to be examined and dealt with.

I have voted in every election since I was 18. It is something I am very proud of. What I didn’t realize was that everyday people can get involved in the political process instead of just bitch about it. Last major election cycle, I attended a town hall featuring Harry Mitchell and Wes Clark. It was put on by PACE, which is an arm of NASW-AZ. Meeting and speaking with the candidates was exciting, but much more exciting was meeting all the everyday people who put it together. Legislative days, spending time at the state capitol and working with PAFCO has made it easier to see the political process as something accessible.

I wonder if more people thought our system was accessible, would they participate? Does the average person even understand our process? Do they realize that you can make an appointment and meet with your councilman, legislator, governor and air your concerns and priorities?

“The World is run only by the people who take the time to show up”
– unknown

Get out the Vote

Today was primary day in Arizona. You could tell by the 75 feet warning signs around community centers, churches, and schools. I don’t know if everyone did early voting, or if people were confused by the 3 day weekend, but there was a polling place right next to my office and it was dead.

Polls close at 7 pm. Bring your ID.
Arizona has some political races to watch this year. I live in District 12 and it is the first time in a long time I am seeing some real competition to the incumbents.

Where do you get your information on local candidates?

AZCentral has a local elections guide. As a social worker, I get info from the National Association of Social Workers Arizona Chapter. I also get it from PAFCO. They have Health and Human Service Questionnaires. I already mentioned Project Vote Smart above, and there is also the Clean Elections Commission Site (.pdf warning).

I get a lot of politics and election info from blogs. I just found Arizona Politics, but I am not sure how good it is. I also read Politicker AZ, which provides some nice aggregation and quick hits.

Local politics can be quite the adventure, and it is a great way to get your feet wet in our governmental system. Use your voice, vote!

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