Research. Think. Vote.

People, if you live in a state that has a caucus or a primary today, please do two things for me:

  1. Research.
  2. Think.
  3. Vote.


Where do candidates stand in the issues? exclude their party, gender, or race from the equation. What issues are important to you? Research the issues themselves, determine your position on those issues, and then examine each candidate’s position. If they align with yours, you are one step closer to voting for them.


What will the people running for president do to improve your day-to-day life? What are their positions. Again, exclude their party, gender, or race from the equation and focus on your personal needs and issues that you and your family face today.


Participate by taking step one in the process of civic engagement. Beyond voting, stay involved and educated on issues and policies that effect you. If you’re a teacher, at least learn about education policy. If you’re in manufacturing, at least learn about labor issues. At least one issue applies to everyone.

Please get beyond voting republican because you don’t like gay marraige. Please get beyond voting for Obama because he’s young and Black. Please get beyond voting for Clinton because she’s a woman who happens to be Bills wife. The time for this immature, non-issue, non-policy, non-concrete approach to politics is over, and I would have killed it earlier if I could have. We need to really, really understand who we’re voting for, why we’re voting for them, and what they will do for us. Political discussions must drill down from the level of broad generalities about “change” coming from Republicans and Democrats into the not-so-sexy but oh-so-important details that will alter how you live, where you work, what you eat, and how healthy you will be.

Let’s grow up and get real

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 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.

2 responses to “Research. Think. Vote.”

  1. rawdawgbuffalo says :

    Now thats too much work, folks alk by the tv loking for the emote han change th channel. anywho, nice blog, i agree with u, ad i will b back

  2. Garlin II says :

    What’s really, really sad, is that it’s not too much work. What is too much work is figuring out how you’re going to get health care and insurance, which could be simplified if we made Medicare for All a reality (the position of Dennis Kucinich). What is too much work is having to sift through all of the garbage political coverage on TV, on the radio, and online, which could be reduced by removing private money from campaigns (the position of both Dennis Kucinich and John Edwards).

    Thinking about what’s important to you is not complicated: we do it every single day, at every single moment. Thinking about what other people think about things that are important to you is also not complicated: we do it every single day every time we talk to another person. Acting on how you think/feel is not complicated either: we do it every single day when we take any action. Why can we not do these very natural things when it comes to politics? I challenge us to get beyond such depressing levels of intellectual laziness.

    Thanks rawdawgbuffalo, and I hope to see you back soon.

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