Sunday, November 11, 2007

Bad citizen!

You may remember that when I became a citizen, almost a whole year ago, I was particularly motivated by my desire to be able to vote. I even had dreams about it.

Well, this week I performed the act that truly cemented my new role as an American: there was an election, and I didn't go.

I know, I know. Stop yelling. Ow. Stoppit.

Let me lay out my weak excuses:

I didn't even know there was an election on Tuesday until the Friday before, when an oversized postcard from Michael Marks came in the mail. That was the only communication we had from any of the 19 candidates, though when I was checking through the junk mail for the unoccupied upstairs apartment, I found flyers for two others. So, you know, nice job of getting the word out, guys.

Of the three candidates, two were running for School Committee; not something that will affect me unless we decide the cat needs an education. The flyer for Marks highlighted his work on the "senior swim" program and his interest in public parking. Still being a good 20 years from swim time, and having no reason to park in downtown Medford, I was in no rush to vote for the guy. (On top of which, his frame-tastic website was apparently designed in 1995 and
contains a big ol' malapostrophe. Next!)

We live in Medford, but we don't live in Medford. We have no particular ties to the city, have no friends there, don't read
the local newspaper, and rarely shop, play or eat there (apart from occasional acts of piggery, Brazilian style, at the Oasis). Our house is divorced from the rest of Medford by railroad track, Tufts buildings and warehouses, in the borderlands known as "Medford-but-really-almost-Somerville." So if something interesting happens in the city, we have no means (and little motivation) for learning about it.

Darn. This was going to be my killer excuse: that the polling station was too far from my house. But according to Google Maps, it's only slightly further than my daily walk to and from the subway. Still, I wasn't particularly in the mood to trek a couple of miles through the back streets of Medford, over by the highway and the car dealerships, in the dark drizzle of a November night, to make an uninformed choice for a mystery candidate.

As it turns out, I wasn't the only one.

But never fear, dear fellow Americans; this won't happen again. In the course of researching this post, I found a lovely site called, which has detailed info about all candidates (with video, no less!) as well as their answers to resident-submitted questions.

So next time there's an election--and I heard a rumor that something important is happening this time next year--I'll be good 'n' ready to do my citizenly duty.

But meanwhile, I wants to know: do you think we should become more loyal Medfordites? Can anyone recommend a Medfordian activity that would help us feel more Medfordly?

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