Have you Registered?

Since I’m now pretty much settled into my new place, I finalized establishing myself as a resident of the State of Washington yesterday.  What does that mean?  I did three things:

1. Got a new Driver’s License
2. Switched my tags over for my car
3. Registered to vote

#3 is what I’m stressing here.  We’ve talked about ensuring that you are registered early before, and I want to re-iterate that point again today.  As the 7 Nov 2006 election draws near, please make sure that you are registered properly.  You can do so by going to sites like this to get the ball rolling.

With all of the talk of past election/voter fraud & intimidation that has happened in past elections, we have a choice between two reactions:

1. Behave as if pre-emptively defeated, and not vote
This is the whole “They’re gonna cheat anyway, so I might as well not bother.”  This is dangerous because it says that fear of election stealing in this case will lead to the paralysis of staying home on election day.  I know in my heart that we face challenges everyday, including election day.  Yet many most of us are able to work through these challenges and do what we need to do for ourselves and our families.  I submit to you that it is imperative to the well-being of you and your loved ones to vote your conscious and hold to account those who have misled you in the past.  I do not subscribe to the notion that those who have the opportunity and ability to voice their support of dissent of anything and chose not to are credible as critics.

2. Vote, believing that when we act collectively we are unable to be defeated
Here’s a secret: it’s a whole hell of a lot harder to steal a landslide than it is to steal a close election.  Why don’t we make these bastards take the election by having record turnout?  At the end of the day, I want to feel like I tried, like I said my piece, like I gave it a shot.  I don’t feel that there is anything wrong with that.  I am confident that if our people commit to voting, commit to becoming active participants in causes that affect them, commit to holding accountable those who have misled, mistreated, or misguided them, then we will be well on our way to understanding why voting matters.

I’m going with option 2 above.  If you disagree, tell me why.

One Love.  One II.



About Garlin Gilchrist II

I am the City of Detroit's first ever Deputy Technology Director for Civic Community Engagement. My job is to open up the city's public data and information for the consumption and benefit of all Detroiters. I currently live in Detroit, my hometown, with my beautiful wife Ellen and our twins Garlin III and Emily Grace. I'm from Detroit. I created Detroit Diaspora, and was formerly the National Campaign Director at MoveOn.org. I also co-hosted The #WinReport on "The Good Fight," a an award winning, nationally syndicated radio show that was one of Apple's Best of 2013. After graduating with degrees in Computer Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Michigan, I became a Software Engineer at Microsoft. By day, I helped build SharePoint into the fastest growth product in the company's history. On my personal time, I sought out opportunities to connect my technical skills with community building efforts across the country. This led to my co-founding The SuperSpade: Black Thought at the Highest Level, a leading Black political blog. I served as Social Media Manager for the 2008 Obama campaign in Washington, and then became Director of New Media at the Center for Community Change. I spent two years creating and implementing a strategy for the Center to take it's 40 years of community organizing experience into the digital age. I speak before diverse audiences on effective & responsive government, empowerment in revolutionary new organizing spaces, increasing civic engagement & participation through emerging technologies and protecting civil rights in the age of the Internet. Full bio here.

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