Civic Diary 6-10-2016

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

Well the California Primaries are over, my Twitter feed and news feed are filled with politics, and I’m of course thoughtful.

So I haven’t always followed up on primaries in the past, but as I’ve become more aware of politics and civic engagement, I see their importance.  It’s not just the presidential Primaries, but its the local voting as well – local politics has an influence on people’s lives, change minds, and build future political careers.  Those local bills and policies change a lot.  You’ll want to pay attention to.

Since that political meeting I wanted to go to was cancelled, I scheduled two more this month, figuring A) I can make at least one, and B) No one is going to cancel both of them.  I pretty much decided I want to find out how to do get out the vote work as a start to real civic engagement.

There are also local political clubs I found and joined one.  I figure it can’t hurt to check one out if I have time.

And speaking of time, I’m feeling the time crunch from work, social obligations, my projects, and more.  It really takes effort to make time for civic engagement, especially NEW civic engagement.  I’m having to rethink my plans and schedules.  That’s good, but man, it’s a bit of a pain.

Which brings in another realization – being civicly engaged is a long-term commitment.  yes, I knew this and understood it, yes some of my civic work has been long term, especially my more local and geek stuff.  Yes, I usually think long term.

But then I realized a good chunk of what influenced me was the 2016 election and the realization people could be better engaged in politics.  But still a apart of me had stopped thinking about anything past November.  I’m realizing that’s (obviously) short-sighted.

So yeah, I want to get more involved politically and see if there’s anything I can do for this election.  But I’m trying to shift my mind to long-term engagement beyond my flirting wit the idea of being on a city board – and I’m kind of drawing a blank right now as to what that is.

I mean I have my civic engagement in the form of social groups and museum work and speaking at cons and the like.  But it doesn’t quite feel like its got a lot of long-term planning in it – or even the long-term planning of doing “yeah, that’s good enough.”

However, I have come to realize about 70-80% of what I do outside of politics is pretty satisfying civicly.  I may need a bit more thought of what I’m doing, a few changes there, but I feel like my whole elder geek/geek job guru/social integrator thing works pretty good.

So that’s it for my Civic Diary.  How are you doing?

– Steve