Surprising statistical news out this week–newspaper readership is stable over the past ten years, according to a recent study. People are better informed too, the study showed, because they supplement paper reading with television, radio and electronic news sources–like blogs. Here’s to the continued existence of newspapers, and to new independent voices, as well!
Today is primary day. I got to my polling place at PS 114 at 7 a.m. to see if my name was on the list as a Democrat, though I sent in a card to switch to a third party in July. The change was never processed; I’m still shown as a Democrat. So I voted. For Dems, two offices are on the ballot–Attorney General and Senator.
If I had voted for an AG candidate, it probably would have been Kathleen Rice, for both logical and emotional reasons. 1) She’s the only woman running. 2) She never had much to do with Albany, which is a good thing. 3) We share a favorite television program, The Office.
For Senator, I voted for myself as a write-in candidate, as I didn’t have the money to run, and wouldn’t look nearly so good on television as Kirsten Gillibrand. If you write in, be sure you print clearly, so the scanners can read it, I was told. If elected, I am willing to serve, and by the way, I support Mayor Koch’s New York Uprising pledge. So does Audrey Pheffer, but not Malcolm Smith or Michele Titus. Spread the word. The new scannable paper ballots are fun to use, by the way…
In the “interesting” category, be sure to check out the photo of a flooded Broad Channel street (W. 12), in the Queens section of today’s Daily News. The city’s trying to fix the problem, but not fast enough. So come to the meeting of Community Board 14 tonight, at the K of C Hall, 330 Beach 90 St. in Rockaway Beach, 7:30 p.m.) to find out why.
Primary elections today, Sept. 14, 2010–citywide, until 9 p.m.
Community Board 14 monthly meeting, Tues. Sept. 14, 7:30 p.m., Knights of Columbus, 333 Beach 90 St., Rockaway Beach.
With all the possible ways to be informed today, I still struggle with educating myself on these types of elections. After a whirlwind of a day of work, kids, a late pediatrician appointment for three kids, my husband notices the posters for the primary elections. There’s a moment of guilty silence between us, and then I come to my senses knowing that even if I had remembered, I wouldn’t have known who to vote for. My husband is so skeptical of politicians in general he probably wouldn’t have voted because he has no faith in fair representation of the average man and his struggles to support his family.
I’m an educator with many educator friends or well educated professional friends, yet discussions rarely are on the subject of “who are you going to vote for?” unless it’s the presidential race. I wonder is it a loss of faith, interest or care in our political leaders. In the rare occasions that the topic does fall on politics it usually ends with a joke or a phrase like, “Oh well, in the end votes don’t matter – we still get screwed.” I think those of us who are hustling to make an adequate life aren’t looking to political leaders for help or hope. It’s every man for himself. Is this right or an effective strategy? Absolutely not! It the vicious circle of deception. We really aren’t making progress just burning out. What’s the solution then? Let’s talk politics. As a community, we need to recreate some old traditions of gathering for the sake of political talk. Sounds boring? Talking politics sure sounds boring to me. The thought of making a difference, uniting with community members in an effort to make our voices count, leading the way to change – now that’s exciting! I’m feeling like a politics party in the near future. Anyone up for talking politics at my house – a little booze thrown in there might help a bit 🙂
I know how hard it is when your children are small to find even a moment of quiet to read and absorb the news. My children attended elementary school from 1997-2006, and during those years, my “news diet” included watching an occasional public affairs program on PBS or cable tv, reading The Wave once a week, and reading the daily online news digest of the N.Y. Times. I used to commute to NYC and Long Island for temporary, part-time legal jobs in those years, so I could be home with the kids as much as possible. Then the planes crashed in 2001, and changed our world. Starting in 2002, there were sea changes in education policy in NYC that are continuing to send out huge ripples in our lives. I was very involved in the PTA at the time. At my request, the Times sorted out and sent me alerts on all the articles about education. I guess you could say I was a “one issue” consumer of news. That’s probably not great, but if it’s all you can manage, I recommend it.
That old expression, “all politics is local,” is being reinvigorated. Watch for my upcoming comments about what occurred at the community board 14 meeting on Tues. Sept. 14 and I think you will see what I mean. Next week, I also plan to write about homeowners’ groups in my Wave column, Rock Solid. For too long, a handful of people have maintained the status quo on the peninsula, without concern for the views of the remaining 130,000 of us. Yes, let’s talk politics. Join a homeowners’ group. Organize your neighbors. Fight for a better quality of life.