Civic Diary 9/14/2017

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

Yes, it’s time for my latest Civic Diary.  So where am I in my efforts to be a better citizen?

More or less holding the course still, but with a few changes:

First  of all if you have trouble bugging/talking to/seeing your representatives, do not forget email.  It’s not as good as the phone call, but it’s something you can timeshift and probably do cut-and-paste.  Also some local reps (like city and county) are much harder to call, so the email may be easier.

Secondly, I’m starting to track my efforts in a google doc.  This way I can check off what I do on my phone – much easier to keep track of, update, and more!  I take my various mailing lists and dump them in there.

Third, definitely keep track of news.  This tells you what others are doing, what you forgot, and maybe in a few cases when you don’t need to call/bug a representative if they do something you’re planning to annoy them on.  The latter helps so you can change a prod to a compliment.

And now some psychology and social callings.

Right now we’re more and more aware all the time of how people seek to divide us – not as if we weren’t aware there was assorted news playing on racial resentment and political divisions.  Remember you’ll always want to be aware of just what’s going on in efforts to divide the country and work to bridge gaps when possible.  You can’t always make peace with people who want to hate you, but you can build your community stronger to survive and prosper.

Secondly, though everything is political to an extent, some parts of our lives and communities are less political than others.  These “not-as-political” things like book clubs, conventions, and so on are important.  Work to cultivate these communities and your friendships to keep them strong and provide stability.  I also find it helps prevent divisions like above.


– Steve