Becoming an Engaged Citizen: The First Step – Register to Vote!

Independent Commentary, Opinion & Political Analysis by local activist, Michael McCue.

Announcer: Before we return to our regularly-scheduled program, let’s first hear a word from our sponsor…Engaged Citizen Action Alerts…

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have not one…but two Priority One Engaged Citizen Action Alerts for today, and both are urgent!

First, as you know from last week's episode, the “Disclose Act” is coming up for a vote on the floor of the Assembly in Sacramento very soon…but did you know that the vote is scheduled for tomorrow? (Tuesday)

If you haven’t activated your Assembly hot line to Sacramento to secure passage of the Disclose Act, now is the time to do so…there is not one minute to waste…the
vote is tomorrow morning!

If you want to pull back the curtain and shine a light on the hidden special interest monies that are propping up our state ballot propositions…now is the time for action.  See last week’s post , for more details and how to contact your Assembly member.

Our Second Priority One Engaged Citizen Action Alert has to do with the Single-Payer Health Care bill for the State of California…the bill that will make sure that every Californian has affordable health insurance, and does so without making the billionaire, for-profit, health insurance CEO’s one ounce fatter on our dime.

SB 810, the single payer healthcare bill in the California Senate, needs just 2 more votes from the five abstainers listed below to pass before tomorrow, January 31, 2012.  

SB 810 is the only real solution to our state's healthcare crisis...one that saves the state billions, guarantees healthcare for all Californians, and controls costs, while
eliminating the denials of care and restrictions of provider choice imposed by
private, for-profit insurance companies.

No matter where you live, you can and should call.  

Last week, on Thursday, Jan 26, the Senate Bill 810 Floor Vote was:

19 YES to 14 NO.

We need 21 votes to win, so we are 2 short.  

SB 810 is not dead but currently "on call" until the January 31st deadline, which means we, the people of California, must get the Senators who didn't vote at all to vote "yes."

Tomorrow is the absolute deadline to shore up two more votes or the bill dies!

Here’s some background info

So...our Second Action Alert for today is to call all five of the cowardly abstainers NOW! 

Our villains are from the corporate-owned, and spineless Democratic Party. 

They are…

Alex Padilla -Pacoima/LA area - Capitol office - 916-651-4020 or the District office- 818-901-5588

Rod Wright - Los Angeles area  (916) 651-4025 or (310) 412-0393

Juan Vargas - San Diego area  (916) 651-4040 or (619) 409-7690

Michael Rubio - Fresno/Bakersfield area (916) 651-4016 or (661) 395-2620

Ron Calderon - Los Angeles area   (916) 651-4030 or (323) 890-2790

If these cowards do not stand up for the Social Justice that the Democratic Party prides itself so much for...then you should throw all of these villians out in the June primary, with our blessings!

Vote for a new representive, a new Assembly man or woman, who will get the job done for We, the People, and will not shirk their repsonsibilities as these Assembly members have done already through their cowardly abstentions.

What a bunch of bums!

Announcer: And now…back to our regularly-scheduled program, a suspense thriller, “The First Step,” with our host, Michael McCue….brought to you by “Engaged Citizen,” the Patch blog that dares its readers to take action!

I have never understood those of us who don’t register to vote. 

I don’t get it. 

We’re living in a democracy. 

Democracy is not a spectator sport.  You can’t sit on the sidelines. 

It requires a basic level of engagement on the part of all of its citizens in
order to be successful. 

The more educated, involved, and engaged voters are, the healthier our democracy becomes. 

The chances for an average American family to be able to live safely, and enjoy healthy, productive lives are greatly improved whenever the citizens of any democracy are engaged and active. 

But, imagine if no one was registered to vote—or had the opportunity to vote—or—imagine if just a few of us were registered to vote.

What kind of results would we expect from our election outcomes under those

Would the results be similar to the abysmal situation we are in today?

Let's crunch the numbers, shall we?

According to the most recent report from the California Secretary of State, there are 5,828,424 eligible voters in Los Angeles County. 

However…only 4,476,485 of the eligible voters in our county are registered to vote!  That’s over one million of us missing in action in Los Angeles County alone!

That means that less than 77% of eligible voters have bothered to register in the first place! 

Where is that missing 23% of eligible voters and why aren’t they registered?  Where are you guys and gals?  Are you Confederates?  Have you seceded from the Union?

In the last statewide general election of 2010, the Secretary of State reported that voter turnout had increased slightly with 59.6% of registered voters participating.  Hmmm…that sounds good.

But wait...think about it…if less than 77% of eligible voters are registered in the first place…

...and if less than 60% of those registered voters turned out for an election…

...doesn’t that mean that less than 38% of our eligible voters are engaged and actively voting in our California elections?

The math is scary. But there's more...

Divide 38 by 2 and you get 19…right? 

All we need to pass a state proposition is 50% of the vote turnout +1 extra vote!

With 50% plus 1 vote...any new state proposition will become law—no matter how hare-brained the proposition, or how costly, or how unfair. 

“Prop 8” immediately jumps to mind.  The margin that Prop 8 passed by was so slim.  Would it pass today?  I think not.

In fact, because of the confusing wording, many voters voted “Yes” on Prop 8 thinking that a “yes” vote meant that were voting in favor of Marriage Equality…not against it.  I’ve lost track of how many people have told me that they voted the wrong way on Prop 8 because of the confusing language.

But confusion aside...the math is still frightening.

It all adds up to the fact that less than 20% of our total of eligible voters have the power to make decisions for us all in the State of California! 

They can even remove your established rights. 

That is, if both our voter registration levels and voter turnout levels remain so low.

Again…less than 20% of eligible voters have the power to decide who our representatives will be in the Assembly and State Senate.

And… less than 20% of eligible voters have the power to decide who our next governor will be.

Is this any way to run a democracy?

Do you want your future, and your family’s future, health and safety decided by less than 20% of the eligible voting population?

That’s why I am committed to registering voters.

And that’s why we all should register to vote.

Important decisions that affect your future and the future of your family, your community, your business, and your state, will be made on your behalf and in your place, by less than 20% of the eligible voting population if you don't vote…complete strangers whom you might not agree with, and whose judgment cannot always be trusted.

That should scare the hell out of you!

That is…if you don’t take that first step to get in the game! 

Register to vote.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »