Sorry Elana, but I have nothing to offer in regards to the recent city election. Tho it pains me to admit it, this was a year of pissing on the graves of billions– the poor subjugated people who have never known the sweet freedom of democracy. There was a moment’s hesitation on that fateful Tuesday morning, time afforded and excuses looking small and petty in the sunshine. I considered the candidates who would be spending their day in breathless anticipation for the results, I considered the ballot initiatives which would mold and shape my community for years to come. I considered the fact that I had given the year’s voter guide a perfunctory leafing and had no idea what the fuck was going on and then I considered making lunch and heading off to work.
The self righteous few who had collected the signatures or the money to land their names to the ballot did not speak to me beyond a general or focused revulsion. If Gavin Newsom had been challenged then I may have made a special trip just to mark one check-box, but he was up against local alternaculture luminary Chicken John, homeless cab-driving personality crisis Grasshopper and the slick would-be stuffed shirt Quintin Mecke who ran his campaign office a door over from my own. Having listened to his media savvy on the cell phone countless times I couldn’t even muster any sympathy to take me up the street. Now, had Chicken John or Grasshopper or Mecke had a chance in hell of winning I would have legged it double-time to oppose them but, as I said, this was a sleeper election at best.
I’ve skipped voting for candidates countless times, probably a couple in every
election I’ve had the hard-won right and privilege to participate in, but I’m much more adamant about reading up on and forming half-baked, emotional opinions on local initiatives.
This year, somehow, my weeks of note-taking and investigation came down to reading the first three in the book laying on the couch, sick, waiting for Amanda to pick up pants before I laid down in bed to prepare for playing a Halloween party. Not the ideal environment for civic duty, I admit, and it yielded a passing knowledge of a MUNI bill and two city hall procedural issues. The latter two made me drowsy but Proposition A stirred the dying embers of my heart momentarily. It looked like another step towards privatization
which, broken as the bus system may be, is not the direction I would have things going.
Yet it wasn’t compelling enough of an issue to drag me off to the polls for another round of the ignorant ass awards, not this year. However, in the days leading up to America-day I received an interesting e-mail, followed by an even more interesting one. It’s worth reading the entire quote, people:
Correction! Election day is Tuesday, November 6th. We put the wrong date in our last email. Oh geez, we are so embarrassed, and so sorry for sending you a second email. This is the last you’ll hear from us. We promise.
Hey young San Francisco voter,
We got your email from the San Francisco voter file. See below for the legal mumbo-jumbo. We don’t mean to bug you, but we don’t have the money to send you something in the mail, and we’d rather not waste the trees.
Check out our voter guide to see what we think about the ballot www.theballot.org/2007/sf.
We just want to remind you to vote tomorrow, November 6th. Polls are open from 7am to 8pm. It’s so important that young people make their voices heard in this election.
Don’t know where your polling place is? Go here:
Or you can vote all day in the basement of City Hall.
Did you know that since February, only 154 new voters have registered in San Francisco? Crazy! That freaks us out, so starting Wednesday we’re going to focus on registering young voters. But for Tuesday, the city is expecting a record low turnout for this election, and that’s always bad news, because the Republicans always vote. So we’re going to get out there and vote. You should too.
We’ve been making voter guides for every San Francisco election since 2004, and we’re here to stay. There are three elections next year, and we’ll be making voter guides for young people for every one of them. We also throw parties, art shows, and poetry slams year round. Check us out and sign up to join at www.theleague.com/sf.
You can download a PDF version of it to print and take to the polls.
So please check out our voter guide to learn about the election and then go vote!
– The SF League
The League of Young Voters PAC (also known as the League of Pissed Off Voters) sent you this email blast. We’re not some vast right wing or left wing conspiracy, so don’t freak out. Don’t blame any of the candidates we endorsed.
We got your email address legally from the San Francisco voter file. You can unsubscribe from our list below. To take your e-mail out of the voter registration database, re-register to vote and write “delete” in the space for your e-mail address. But we hope you don’t. Email is the only way broke groups like us can contact voters, except for robocalls. But those things suck! We wouldn’t do that to you.
Paid for by League of Young Voters Political Action Committee (LYV PAC) 45 Main Street, Suite 628 Brooklyn, NY 11201, William Wimsatt, Treasurer. Not paid for by any candidate or candidate’s committee. Voter Guides posted on this site may not reflect the position of LYV PAC or its affiliated organizations.
If this offends you it’s worth continuing on to their website which is run out of New York, Brooklyn to be specific. Brooklyn, you know? Where the cool white kids live?
A couple of days after my failure to participate, my insult to the oppressed masses of history, I was standing outside work smoking a cigarette and chatting with a fellow wage-slave. A ragged looking, but obviously not homeless, bearded dude came out from the store doing his best Abby Hoffman, carrying some clipboards. “Hey, do you guys wanna hear about some, like, totally boring liberal stuff?” he asked making vague gestures with his hands and rolling his eyes. We both stared at him until he shrugged and started walking off. “No, I want more condescension” I offered but he didn’t turn around.
The next week the hip volunteers for Mecke’s failed bid were clearing out his rented office. I walked through the sad-parade of ratty chairs and tattoos and suppressed my smug laughter. Taking the trash out later that night I opened our blue bin to chuck the recycling and found it had been filled to the brim with campaign propaganda. So had the next bin down the street. Thousands upon thousands of unused, never touched, never read, never cared for and never needed newsheet pamphlets were standing between me and a simple civic task. I had no recourse but to leave a couple of paper bags alongside the trash where they would be kicked over and strewn about before the evening’s end. I wish I had the guts to follow my impulse and upend both industrial-sized containers into the former Quintin Mecke campaign office doorway.
PS– The top graphic wasn’t specific to this year’s democracy hootenanny, it’s the record cover of Funeral Shock’s 7″ that came out last time Gavin was up for office. Local band you’re not gonna like.
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