Archive for the ‘Participation’ Category

Service of Registering to Vote

Thursday, September 27th, 2018

Photo: hudsonvalleynewsnetwork.com

I can’t remember noticing as many efforts to register people to vote–from so many quarters–as I now do.

September 25 was “National Voter Registration Day,” an initiative that’s six years old but it’s the first time I’ve heard of it. According to Facebook, when I last looked, 2,247,846 reported that they’d helped friends to register on TurboVote.

Photo: southlakesentinel.com

In addition to Facebook, even before the national day, links and reminders have also popped up on Twitter, Instagram and Google for starters. A few weeks ago I went to a screening, sponsored by AARP, of the documentary “Love, Gilda,” about Gilda Radner. At the registration desk in the movie house lobby we were asked to sign a promise-to-register-to-vote sheet. I saw a poster on the exit door of a grocery store upstate last weekend. The Alumnae for Action committee of a NYC private school—Brearley– sponsored a voter registration postcard writing event, coordinated by the League of Women Voters.

Photo: sanavalley.com

Our citizens have been lackadaisical voters. According to fairvote.org, 40 percent of eligible voters cast their ballots for midterm elections and in recent years, 60 percent for national elections. Drew Desilver, Pew Research Center, wrote “U.S. trails most developed countries in voter turnout.” He reported that we’re 26th of 32 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Belgium**ranks first at 87 percent followed by Sweden and Denmark, 82.6 percent and 80 percent, respectively. Switzerland, the last, comes in at 39 percent. **Desilver reported that Belgium is one of 24 nations with “some form of compulsory voting.”

Has the effort to register people to vote been as vigorous in other years? Do you think that these recent registrants will remember—or bother–to vote on November 6? Do you vote even if you aren’t enamored with the choices? In addition to legitimate reasons such as a last minute illness, unexpected travel or horrendous weather conditions where a write-in ballot is no longer an option, why do you think people don’t vote?

Photo: abodo.com

Service of Speaking Up

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

Speak up

I pass a row of Citibikes on my daily walk to work and last week noticed a cloth tote bag left beside one of the parked bicycles. My first thought was, “Oh, gosh, someone juggling packages left behind one of their bags.”

As I continued up the street lugging my own trove of gifts it suddenly occurred to me that this stand—and the tote–are next to one of the Trump-named buildings on First Avenue and across the street from the UN.

citibikeI soon passed a building on Second Avenue that I’d noticed was well-guarded since the Berlin terrorist attack at the Christmas market, so I mentioned the tote to one of the policemen. He said that someone had already reported it to the 17th Precinct. (He was with a terrorist troup.)

I was delighted that word had gotten around!

I most recently wrote about the “If you see something, say something,” concept well over three years ago in the post “Service of Passivity.” Nobody had mentioned to authorities the two large suitcases parked outside Grand Central Station with no human owner in evidence, until I did–and they had been there for a while.

We’ve improved!

Have you heard of other examples of the public’s pitching in to help safeguard your town or city?

safety first

 

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