{ i voted 2000 }

More than One Vote
Tarin Towers

I've voted in every election I've been eligible to vote in, even all the extra elections they have in San Francisco every few months just to remind us we live in a city that holds referendums. As a little girl, I'd ride with my mom to the Fire Hall and watch her disappear into the curtains of the voting booth to pull the levers for the candidates she chose. She'd come out deeply tense, as if it were her personal future she was choosing.

It was.

I have friends who don't vote at all. The idea of democracy is a noble one, but it's never been in practice what it purports to be in theory. We live in an oligarchy, a system of government in which the few who are in power make special efforts to keep themselves and others like them holding the reins. There no longer seems to be any special agenda being advanced by either party – there's no cold war, few groups are left that can be oppressed legally, and we still have more resources than any other nation.

If the world is fucked, and our country is the one doing most of the fucking, why should we contribute even five minutes of time to endorse one of two evils, or even a lonely crusader with a penchant for ratting out corruption?

For years, the mantra of the politically-minded has been, "Think globally, act locally." In high school, that usually translated to, "recycle cans, don't litter." You'd save the whole environment by keeping your neighborhood clean.

As a grownup, cursed with more knowledge about the workings of the world and with our part in it as citizens of the United States, I've grown to take the bumper sticker seriously. If I don't want girls to work in sweatshops, I shouldn't buy the clothes they make. And if I don't want to take part in the evils that men do, I need to start by voting against them.

This year, I actually went into a campaign office and stuffed envelopes and discussed strategy and even had my name listed on the official mailer as an endorser. I found myself with a chance to make a difference to both my city and my neighborhood by working on the election for District Supervisor for a candidate who had not only a vision and a heart, but a chance to win.

My mother would never tell me who she voted for. It was personal to her, and it is to me, too, but in a different way. I can't sit back any more and read about evils without doing anything. It's not true that I don't have the power to change anything. This year, I didn't vote just once. I approached nearly a thousand people, in person, about their votes, all for local candidates and measures, and now I'm talking to you. Think globally, but act locally. Vote for what you believe in, and leave the rest blank.

{ next }

{*} Gimme a "V"!
Lance Arthur
{*} We Are the Ones
Rebecca Blood
{*} My Vote Doesn't Count
Sarah Bruner
{*} Close Encounters
Heather Champ
{*} A Message
John Hodgman
{*} The Score
David Hudson
{*} Learning the Process
Greg Knauss
{*} Dreaming of Greener Pastures
Dori Mondon
{*} Three Scenes
Derek M. Powazek
{*} Absentee
Magdalen Powers
{*} Acts of Faith and Finger Foods
Adam Rakunas
{*} Resident
Luke Seemann
{*} Tarin Towers is a writer and editor who lives in San Francisco's Mission District. This year, she worked on the Chris Daly for District 6 Supervisor campaign.
{*} The Poster Wars
Shauna Wright

Did you vote?