Yesterday was a long, tiring day at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. Watching lines of young swimmers smiling by our table, severely disabled kids in wheelchairs, and exercisers of all ages, my book club pals and I registered only three voters.
Reporting from the JCC microcosm of prospective voters was eye-opening.
Results of our little study:
— At least seven or eight people said they couldn’t speak English or weren’t able to vote.
One young women gleefully told us, “I’m a resident. I’ll be voting as soon as I’m a citizen!”
An older Anglo woman simply said, “I can’t” (perhaps she’s a convicted felon, but I make up stories).
— Another young woman asked, “For what?” I responded, “For everything.”
— The great majority of people said, “I’m registered.” There were two or three men who ignored us. Many passers-by stopped to share a desire to vote as soon as possible, or their unhappiness with the ongoing demise of the United States as we know it [my take].
“I wish I could register more,” lamented one fellow baby boomer with wild gray hair , wearing a tie-dyed t-shirt.
Ahh…the Sixties. “They say you want a revolution…” I believed it was happening.
Never in my scariest post-sixties nightmares did I imagine such federal degradation. Nixon’s fear-mongering racism (he was bad enough), Carter’s unpopular truth-telling, Wild Bill’s striving toward the law and order center.
Reagan spiraled the country into a divisive veneration of the rich, while instituting “benign neglect” of everyone else. Unequal protection of the laws, a travesty of the 14th Amendment.
For the full background of the mess we’re now in: Read Democracy in Chains . The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America by Nancy MacLean, a Duke history professor. Perhaps I’ve mentioned it before. It’s worth a reminder.
I feel so bad for my kids, my grandson, whose U.S. is being forever, detrimentally, changed. I feel bad for Ruth Bader Ginsberg, looking at her sullen face when Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor read her appropriately angry dissent regarding the outrageous Muslim travel ban.
I can only do what I can do. So…we registered three voters yesterday. What’s next?
Like RBG, I refuse to give up.
Maybe JCC is the wrong place, maybe a mall, taco place, Hispanic grocery store or a popular Mexican restaurant in South Tucson. How about Pima Community College (any campus) or even some of the tech schools, if the’re in session. A long time ago I used to register voters at El Con Mall on the week-end when there were lots of people shopping. My guess is that the Hispanics and blacks are under represented. thanks for doing this.
You’re welcome Sheila! Those are all good suggestions. My daughter suggested major hospital lobby like we have here. We’ll see what my cohorts would like to do. Oh, and I registered people at Tucson Meet Yourself and didn’t get many takers either.