Civic Diary 4/15/2016

(This column is posted at, and Steve’s Tumblr)


My latest voyages into being more civicly engaged continue. So as noted my latest venture in being a civic geek were following important organizations, trying to write my congressbeings regularly, and looking for opportunities to be more engaged. I also had focused on the importance of any organizing to promote civic behavior.

SO what’s my findings this week?

  • First, writing to my reps – specifically over the Panama Papers calling attention to tax shelters around the world. Though the (incomplete) Panama Papers didn’t implicate many big US names, it still calls attention to tax dodges, and I figured it’d be good to prod them to do the same.
  • I should probably follow up on NC and Missisippi’s idiot Bathroom Bills as well. As there’s talk that NC may have suddenly made itself ineligible for federal funding, it might help to push that. ┬áNote – I wasn’t aware federal funds could be withheld under conditions like that, so I learned something.
  • Following all these organizations makes you feel less alone politically. That’s a great benefit – but I can see where people get into cultlike devotion even to good causes. ┬áJust realizing someone thinks like you do is something.
  • Once you start following organizations that keep you politically informed and find ways to be active, they often refer to other organizations and so on. Politically active organizations network and refer to each other, so you’ll find new and interesting was to stay informed and get active.
  • On the subject of being civicly active, it only took a few weeks for me to realize if I followed every lead I’d never have time for anything. I’ve had this happen before, so be warned – diving into being civicly engaged may be overwhelming. Pace yourself.
  • Since I started doing Civic Geek, and more and more as I do this, I realize a lot of the world survives on diverse, networked groups. From charities to political groups, official organizations to unofficial networking, there’s a huge amount of people keeping things going. It’s kind of hopeful, to be honest.
  • I’ve also come to realize how many people think just commenting on things is “activism,” as if leaving a sentence of feedback actually does anything. I think “protest” of any kind has become enshrined as something that’s always good as opposed to its potential to be wrong, annoying, or terribly misspelled.
  • A lot of people don’t appreciate the value of voting locally. So do it, damn it.
  • I’ve noticed my civic posts get some attention on Tumblr. Thinking Tumblr may be an untapped source of networked political engagement, like Twitter.

– Steve

– Steve