Reading, Writing and Registering: Mr. Bib Goes All Civic on You!

Categories: OC Bookly

ivotedimages.jpg
With springtime arrive the starter tomato plants at Home Depot, the County worker with frisky young mosquito fish for the bathtub pond, the cheerful UPS man with delivering new books, and the democratic parade that is the renewed political season, with signature gathering and voter registration and the chance for the Bibliofella to sit at a card table encouraging, reminding, teaching and cheerleading for participation in civic life.


And the chance to review, as it were, the official State of California voter registration form, 500 copies of which I picked up this week at the understated but elegant office of the County Registrar on Grand Avenue in Santa Ana, a fun place to visit! Since I began registering voters many years, many wars, mostly lousy presidents and dozens of state propositions ago, I've met plenty of My Fellow Americans and enjoyed the tragic-comic opera of voter education, which is often mostly remedial education. You'd be surprised (or not) at what people don't know, like that you have to re-register when you move, or otherwise change your mailing address.

nealkelleydownload (1).jpg
Registrar reading his mail!
The government, in the form of Neal Kelley, OC Registrar of Voters, will not forward your ballot through the services of the US Postal Service.  This must be a big relief to the anti-Big Government types, the intimation of two horrible agencies trying to force you to go to the polls. Tyranny!

Registering Americans to vote is personal commitment by Mr. Bib, which makes me, ostensibly, a better person. Like giving blood at the American Red Cross and sending checks to the graduating children of old friends, kids who I have never met but, well, you know. I absolutely insist that in order to be a real, participating, empathetic citizen everybody should visit their elected officials, spend some time in jail, work a day with a day laborer, march in a demonstration and, yes, register voters. (That's just for starters, but I will stop there.)

rosa.jpg
Obligatory icon. Thanks, Sister Rosa!

Performing at least one or two of these exercised in civic engagement would change a lot of easy misperceptions. You'd learn a lot about yourself, and about others, and maybe even meet some cool people. Even celebrities. Me, I have met, among others, folk legend Rosalie Sorrels, handsome actor Timothy Hutton, Le Show and The Simpsons and Spinal Tap genius performer Harry Shearer and radical fugitive professor Angela Davis. Wow, don't say political work never gave you anything!

My Voice Nation Help
5 comments
Barb Templeton
Barb Templeton

I've met plenty of My Fellow Americans and enjoyed the tragic-comic opera of voter education, which is often mostly remedial education. You'd be surprised (or not) at what people don't know, like that you have to re-register when you move, or otherwise change your mailing address. 

qdpsteve
qdpsteve

I can't believe it... a Tonkovich column that's full of good civic information and positive ideas, rather than punk-ass partisan posturing ("liberals rule, conservatards drool!!").

What's next, AT joining the Tea Party? ;-)

Wayne Clayton
Wayne Clayton

Good work Mr. Bib.  Not only registering citizens to vote, but also getting us thinking and talking about civic engagement and what part we each should play in participatory democracy.

Mr. Bib
Mr. Bib

Excellent writing.  Thanks for quoting.  

Mr. Bib
Mr. Bib

That rule-drool is a new one on me, Steve.  Funny!  And while I appreciate the invitation, well, no thanks to Tea Party.  Read closely, please, and note that I am not a liberal!.  (And not a nativist racist Tea Bagger either.)  I belong to Democratic Socialists of America, and identify closely with anarcho-syndicalism, am president of my trade union, and have worked for years against war and empire.  Oh, and I am a feminist and environmentalist, too.  So, please, not a liberal.  A radical.  Check out The Society of the Spectacle, if you are engaged by any of this, or curious.  Or Emma Goldman, or Slavoj Zizek or historians William Appleman Williams or Howard Zinn or, yes, Saul Alinsky, lately made famous by Newt, and no doubt selling another couple hundred thousand copies of his classic Rules for Tonkoviches.  :)

Now Trending

Anaheim Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...