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.
|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.)
|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!