Civic Diary: 9/5/2016

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

Been awhile on one of these hasn’t it?  Nope, haven’t forgotten, but it’s been a crazy few weeks.  Work, book launch, friends had problems, more work,a class.  It honestly got on top of me.

This also means my civic engagement has been low – right when I wanted to get more involved, after going through some pretty crazy adventures finding out just how I could be.

No excuses, I had to prioritize and was exhausted.  But there’s lessons in this.

Civic Diary Lessons: Priority.

I actually am a pretty planned guy- shocking, I know.  I usually have plans, however rough, about 12-15 months out.  My months also include general plans (do X on Y days).  So how did all of this get on top of me to the point where I’m just now getting to my GOTV plans?

Simple.  I didn’t really plan.

When you’re organized you can decide to do something but not look ahead on everything else.  You’ve got a plan right?  It’s not hard to introduce one new thing?

Actually, it is.  It’s easy to say “a few hours here or there” or “I’m not doing anything that Saturday” and miss the much larger context.  Could you be interrupted?  Will you have the energy to do your “new thing?”  What will your psychological state be?

When you got a plan, you don’t just swap something in.  You don’t think you’re so organized you can make time.  You make a new plan.

Sure I had one – a vauge one – but it wasn’t enough.  It wasn’t paced.  It didn’t acknowledge realities.

It’s probably as I’m experimenting with larger civic engagement.  But lesson learned – civic engagement is something that I need to do as part of the rest of my plans.  Set aside time, know my limits.  Do more when I can, less when other things call.

A good lesson for you too.  Also, maybe start small – I think I overdid it.

Other Activities On The Civic Front

So where am I otherwise:

  1. I found you can do GOTV online.  Planning to do that, and maybe a meetup later.
  2. Longer-term still looking at being involved in communications.  But that is for – yes – an actual plan.  As in I can figure it out after the Election.
  3. News-wise the news media has been erratic to dismal this election, so I’ve taken a bigger interest in media watchdogs.  Signed up for some action alerts to help me stay on top of things.
  4. I haven’t written my reps on much lately.  I’m setting my alert on that to weekly.
  5. Donate.  Because seriously, money matters.


That’s it for me.  Hopefully I’ll have more useful insights next week now that I’m getting back in the swing of things.

– Steve