Lack of civic engagement may indicate simply a lack of civic pride. If we want to increase civic engagement in Worcester, we need to take seriously the possibility that until people feel more pride in their city, many will remain unmotivated to turn out on election day.
Worth reading for you Research Bureau completists (you know who you are).
When I received a forwarded email about “Saturday on THE RAVE”, I was expecting club drugs and young people with too much makeup on. While the idea of certain candidates at an actual rave would likely spice up an otherwise quiet campaign season, candidates discussing issues (without the distractions of blacklight) is the next best thing.
If you can, call in, take notes, and listen to the debates that affect your district. Details below…
The District 1 & 5 City Council candidates will face off and discuss the issues this SATURDAY, October 1 on WCRN 830 AM’s the RAVE (Rosen And Vecchio Experience).
Here’s the schedule:
2:30 – 3:30 PM Bill Eddy & James Kalogeropoulos (District 5)
4:00 – 5:00 PM Tony Economou & Virginia Ryan (District 1)
WORCESTER — In advance of the preliminary election in Worcester on Tuesday, Sept. 20–and in light of recent controversy over T-shirts worn at polls by supporters of the community organization Neighbor to Neighbor–the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts concurs with the recent ruling of the Worcester Elections Commission, which affirms the right to wear organizational T-shirts at polling places. Today the ACLU issued the following statement, attributable to staff attorney Sarah Wunsch:
“Massachusetts law provides for a zone of 150 feet around the entrance to a polling place within which no one can engage in activity aimed at influencing how a voter will vote on candidates or ballot questions that are on the ballot in that election. Wearing a T-shirt with the name of an organization is not prohibited advocacy.
“Those who tried to get the Worcester Elections Commission to prohibit the wearing of T-shirts bearing Neighbor to Neighbor’s name are not only misrepresenting the law for their own political purposes, they are trying to divert attention away from real issues about access to the polls, such as efforts to intimidate and deter people from voting. Wearing a T-shirt that supports a community organization like Neighbor to Neighbor, the Main South Alliance, or the Worcester Homeless Action Committee is not prohibited at the polls under state law, and people willing to assist with and observe the elections process should not be attacked for their commitment to our democratic system.”
To clarify, the Election Commission doesn’t have the authority to rule on this kind of item. They consulted with both the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office and the city solicitor 9-10 months ago about t-shirt wearing, and it was as clear then as it is now that the t-shirt rule only applies to shirts advocating candidates (by name) or political parties.
Joe Petty announced that he would be running for Mayor.
My husband’s first thoughts were: “Petty’s got my vote if he promises to open every City Council meeting with an a capella version of Free Fallin’. The City Council would have to be willing to call themselves the ‘Heartbreakers’, but that shouldn’t be a problem because they break my heart all the time.”
My response: “I guess that makes City Hall the Heartbreak Hotel…”
Some have suggested that the web-presence-less “Average” Joe Petty’s announcement will likely serve to prevent a free-for-all of current council candidates in the Mayor’s race. (But, then again, we’ve already got one candidate calling for another Mike to run.)
Then again, it would seem to me that if the primary goal was to prevent Councilor Lukes from being mayor again, splitting the vote might be just the ticket.