Our votes at play.

(Picture courtesy of Coventry City Council photostream at flickr.com.)

Good morning, firepups, I think we’ve earned a right to celebrate a real milestone victory today. Many of us have been involved in the election we just had the pleasure (for most of us anyway) of winning, and this PUAC gets a special dispensation. Talk about your election experience, today.

What did this election mean to you? For my part, I am relieved that the President was returned to office, even though I live in an area that saw complete rejection of progressive ideals. I credit voter suppression for waking up voters throughout the country. Early voting here turned out long lines, and the people in line with me on the first day of early voting were an amalgamation of types not usually seen at the Chamber of Commerce here in flyover land, North Texas. What did you see at your polls?

Hearing the losing side blame Hurricane Sandy for votes cast for supporting those leftie institutions, FEMA and Red Cross, gives me a real charge. Seeing divine intervention against themselves, now there’s your ultimate admission of guilt. What are your best laughs about the losses our corporate welfare promoters experienced on election day?

It’s not sheer politics to talk about what we did, and what we learned that we need to do, to take our gains forward. Did you do actual groundwork, community service like making phone calls and knocking on doors, to get out the vote?

Giving positive messages to the people you see most, comments about what we need from leadership, even criticism about offenses like voter suppression are a guidance we also are able to give, to encourage our contacts to make a good choice when they go to the polls. Talking online, emailing with your friends, encouraging those less engaged to see what their vote means, those are helpful too. Thanks, I think your country is better off for that help.

Now that we’ve gotten through this election, one that was particularly fraught with the possibility of disaster, what can we do to make the gains we’ve made work toward continued good?

Have you ever served your community or local government? Most work on those local bodies is done by volunteers, and it might be a very good time to check into what openings are out there.

I did a volunteer stint on the Commission on Arts and Humanities in Maryland, when I lived there, reviewing the activities presented for funding by various arts bodies in the state. We found out that the majority of funds were being used in one city that had placed a large number of representatives on the various arts committees, and regions in outlying areas got no more than token grants. Those of us from the neglected areas organized hearings to distribute funds more evenly, and brought in representatives from many theatre, literature and arts groups around the state to make a claim for fairness. While all of us wouldn’t be comfortable agitating for fairness, when public funds are involved it can make us act uppity for the right things. Yes, we did get a more fair distribution of the taxpayers’ funds.

There are boards in local government for planning, development, libraries, schools – how about taking a look at your local government openings for volunteers. You can be a public servant, and don’t even have to be such a troublemaker as I can be.

When we see the push against simple fairness that we’ve experienced during the drive to this last election, we have to get involved in some way. Here at Firedoglake we’re staying informed, and making our voices heard. Thanks for your positive influence. Spreading it around is vital to this country’s future as a bastion of democracy, a democracy that will always work against those who want to pervert it to their own gain.

(Picture courtesy of ennuislife at flickr.com.)

Polling place in Chicago