Civic Diary 7/2/2016

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



Still watching the fallout from the Brexit.  It seems to have been a sadly obvious con, and one where opportunistic a-holes manipulated and scared people.  It’s a hideous synergy of crap news and awful people who got people to vote for destroying their economy and their country’s reputation.  Honestly, even if the UK doesn’t leave the EU (and I’m leaning to it won’t now) this makes people trust the country less.

It’s also a reminder that something may be imperfect, but may be a hell of a lot better than the alternative.  Which, politically, is what we should consider “good” to “excellent.”

So my big civic lesson from the Brexit is to keep up more on news.  I did anyway, but I sort of went back to my “news rituals” in force as I’d slipped on them.  That involves:

  • Checking my newsfeeds at least once a day in an app.
  • Reading long-form articles from reliable sources (I use the AP and Quartz) from said feeds.
  • I added Politifact to my news scan since it’s useful.
  • Doing my usual Twitter news scan.  Remember I have one list just for government, politics, and activism that helps me stay up to date.

You can’t know everything; you can work to stay informed.

Political Engagement:

Now that I’ve got some leads on political orgs fitting my interests, I’m slowly gearing up.  That takes time as people are busy, but I’ve got an actual (almost sure not to be cancelled) political meeting coming up and am in contact with other volunteering options.

As noted my interest is voter registration right now, but as also noted I’m asking what my long-term interests are in political engagement.  I’m thinking beyond that education and communication.  It’s sort of exciting to think I can apply my hobbies and my career experiences to something.

Political engagement doesn’t have to be and shouldn’t be boring.  Look for what fits you.


– Steve