Friday, July 11, 2014

League City vs. the USA, Part 5: Next time, vote

I ask you to remember these images when the next League City election rolls around:
Screengrabbed from WFAA in Dallas.  
Instead of devoting energy to the actual needs of League City, Council is squandering resources on the kind of culture war activity that cannot, by definition, lead to a measurable benefit for taxpayers.

Screengrabbed from KHOU.  

Even Judge Ed Emmett used the term "grandstanding", for crying out loud.  For those of you not familiar with local politics, Judge Emmett is not even our county judge, but he's a respected local Republican leader, and people in greater Houston pay attention when he speaks.

Notice the way the news media refers to League City as "this Houston suburb", in a pejorative sense.  Not a real city in manifested character, more like a red-headed stepchild of the suburban sort.

Screengrabbed from Google and KVUE.     

Trying to usurp that authority makes them look like foolish foot-stompers.  A lot of public resources have been squandered on previous attempts, but both the regulatory framework and the case law are settled.

Screengrabbed from KHOU.  
And whose fault is it that we have this line-up in office?  Emphatically, ours.
Election results from 2011. which is when four of the current seven were elected. Note the "total votes" column.
Screengrabbed from this page.  
Voter turnout during that election was a memorable 9.47% (PDF link).  Voter turn-out was naturally a bit better in 2012 (PDF link) because the other three Council positions were voted during the general election, when people were already at the polls for federal voting purposes.  But even with a federal election drawing people to the polls, look at the number of undervotes:
I believe that a lot of LC residents had no idea of who these people even are, and so they didn't vote for any of them. The effective voter turn-out was closer to 30%.

Screengrabbed and simplified from this PDF.  
I know what a lot of residents are going to want to say in response to this - they're going to claim that it's very difficult to obtain enough detail about a local candidate to make an informed voting decision, and therefore they don't vote for Council members at all.  This response is understandable -  I myself feel that I went into the 2012 election as an ignorant voter, despite my candidate research efforts. It is hard to get relevant information.  We don't even have a real newspaper in League City despite the fact that our population is rapidly approaching six figures, so it's very difficult for facts (as opposed to campaign propaganda) to get disseminated.
The juggernaut that hasn't yet come into its own.  Arguably, we are large enough to do better than what we have been.

Screengrabbed from Google.  
Our local blogging community is even worse than our newspaper situation, as most bloggers activate only within the context of narrowly-defined personal agendas, and then quickly grow dormant once any given election cycle is concluded, leaving nobody to monitor what's going on most of the time.  And then what happens??  We elect our local reps by partial ignorance and accident, and League City ends up in the international news portrayed as child haters and Constitutional rights violators.

My husband likes to tell me that I'm a crappy political blogger and that I should stick to the suburban lifestyle content that was my original intent and which continues to be my forte.  To which I reply that I don't do political commentary because I envision myself to be any good at it.  I do it because there isn't a single other soul out there who is lifting a finger in this regard.  If I give it a shot, hopefully that meager effort will help contribute to a tipping point of awareness which will inspire more people to make contributions (a scenario that becomes increasingly likely by simple statistics as our population continues to expand).

I've leave you with a meme-type graphic that I doctored in order to emphasize my bottom line.  There aren't enough sufficiently-informed League City residents electing our local reps, but here's what transpires when people choose not to vote.  
How many of you feel like you've had sausage involuntarily thrust into your voting mouths after watching LC's ongoing tedious series of guns, God, and grandstanding efforts?

Let me explain the graphic in a bit more detail.  In my opinion, Canada is the world leader in double entendre, where the practice is considered acceptable and even desirable within the public discourse.  I've modified the original intent of this humorous offering from, and the resulting communication is rather shocking by American public standards, but you get the underlying message loud and clear, don't you?  And that's the point.  

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