Monday, February 1, 2010

A How-To Guide: Making a Difference at the Precinct Level

We have now arrived at the moment where all of the time, energy, effort, and passion of the last year can be funneled towards making a difference electorally. The good news? This part will only take up a few hours on a Saturday. Great, eh?!

For too long too many of us checked ourselves out of the civic process, thinking that voting every couple of years was all that was required of us. We were so, so wrong. I was wrong. I look back now in wonder at how I ever thought that all I had to do was elect a few people and that they would run everything exactly how I wanted, with a few unfortunate mishaps here and there, and that these elected officials really and truly represented me.

How totally wrongheaded this is.

Now that I have awoken to this reality, I frequently think that we each have two choices when it comes to serving our country. We can either join the military, as so many brave, young men and women choose to do, or we can become citizen soldiers, armed with knowledge and a commitment to civics, history, and freedom. So if you are not a veteran, or are not currently serving in our military, then please, come along with me and serve your country. As I always say, when we show up, we win.

And now the information you need.

I am learning all this right along with you, so if anyone sees that I've made an error, please don't hesitate to email me with a correction.

Each state is divided into things called precincts, and there are a lot of them. They are tiny. They are basically a neighborhood. Each state is also divided into Legislative districts, which apply to state legislature positions, and are bigger than precincts. Additionally, each state is divided into Congressional districts, which apply to the federal congressional positions, which are bigger than Legislative districts.

I will only outline the Republican and Democrat party processes because I don't have the time to outline a million other parties' meetings. Many people might wonder why I am listing the Democrats' information, but honestly, they are in dire need of some fiscal sanity and anyone that is brave enough to try ought to be encouraged. (Not to say the Republican party doesn't need a swift kick in the fiscally responsible direction as well...) Also, not everyone in the Tea Party movement is a Republican, so why not help fiscally conservative people push forth in the Democrat party as well? Why not change the range of what is acceptable in both parties? Hmmm?

Republican
If you are interested in getting involved on the Republican side of things, follow these steps and become a part of the process. This will ensure you have a say in how things go in the next few important months. By attending these caucuses you will be able to vote for the people who attend the county and state conventions, or attend them yourself. It is at these conventions that the GOP leadership and platform are elected and decided. Don't you want a say?

1. Go to your county GOP website. Some smaller counties are pooling their caucuses so it doesn't matter which precinct you live in. To find your county GOP website, click here. Most of the county websites have the caucus information on the front page. If you have a problem finding it, try to contact someone off of the website.

2. If your county website shows various locations for the precinct caucuses, you will need to figure out which precinct you live in. You can do this by looking at your voter registration card, or by going here and entering your information. The result of the search will give you your Legislative district and your precinct information.

3. Go back to the county GOP website and look up your precinct. You should then be able to see where yours is being held. They are all being held on Saturday, February 13th, at 10:00 a.m. It is just a question of where you need to go.

Note: The King County website is here. I'm listing this one specifically because I believe that most of the people who read this blog are from King County, but I could be wrong!

Make sure you show up on time (or a little early) and if you have any questions, try to contact someone from the website ahead of time. If I find out any other information, I'll try to pass it along.

Democrat
The only thing I could find for the Democrats is a listing for their Legislative District Caucuses. Their website states that this is the first step in the road to the 2010 elections, so I am guessing that this is it for them. Most of these are happening statewide on Sunday, March 14th at 1:00 p.m. Some are happening on April 10th. For more information, go here. The same process applies though for finding your precinct and Legislative District, regardless of whether you want to attend a Democrat or Republican caucus.

All I can do is give you some information. The rest is up to you. Take your new passion and energy and help to revitalize the political process in America by revitalizing our local politics first.

Then be sure to show up to the upcoming rallies and let 'em have it!

Today is Call Frank Chopp Day!!

Update: A very angry commenter corrected my spelling mistake from cretons to cretins. Thank you!

Frank Chopp (D -Seattle) is the Speaker of the House in the Washington State legislature, and he is a lefty, lefty, lefty. Today we are calling on him to kill the anti-initiative bills that seem suspiciously popular with our state's Democrats... which is weird, because I learned in my public school education that Democrats are the party of the people, so why would they be trying to steal the people's voice away? Weird.

You can reach Frank Chopp at 360-786-7920 or chopp.frank@leg.wa.gov. Specifically we are asking him to kill House Bill 2614 & House Bill 2613.

On a side note, check out what the unions are saying about citizen led initiatives, and how to stop them. (Why would they do this? Because most of the unions need taxes to be raised in order to keep funding their lavish benefits - that most of the private sector goes without, but pays for anyway.)

"If you see a signature gatherer, we suggest you ask signature gatherers if they are being paid, find out their names and take their pictures (alone). 'We would like to identify as many as possible." -- Washington State Council of County and City Employees (AFSCME - AFL-CIO)

"Keep an eye out. The best way to beat this is at the signature gathering stage. Please let us know if you see those paid signature hunters in your area and let them know in no uncertain terms what their job will do to your job! Every signature we stop is one more Eyman has to pay for." -- Washington State Council of County and City Employees (AFSCME - AFL-CIO)

"If you see a signature gatherer, call us. We want to do all we can to stop them." -- Washington State Council of County and City Employees (AFSCME - AFL-CIO)

How about this, if you are gathering signatures for a petition and one of these thug-alicious cretins tries to intimidate you, immediately call the police and try to take a picture or video of the person intimidating you.

DO NOT LET THEM INTIMIDATE YOU. They are no better than the mafia, and so deserve to be dealt with accordingly - call the police and stand your ground.