On Tuesday, it’s Election Day in Wisconsin, and it’s one of those elections for which most people don’t bother to show up, most years. This year, I suspect, will see a much higher turnout because progressives, democrats, and sensible conservatives alike are frustrated at the strong-arm tactics of Governor Walker. Oh, you know who I mean: the guy who just decided collective bargaining is a disposable aspect of democracy, a hurdle in the way of the fiscal bottom line. It is, rather, the heart of democracy: that the many get a vote, that they get a say, that we get some modicum of a voice in our government, in our employment, and so, in our lives. The guy & his cronies will be recalled, but in the meantime, even if people did hear about Walker and the subsequent protests, you may not realize how motivated people are here.
I’ve had a couple of people from out of state write to me about the Kloppenburg campaign, which I’m happy to say is getting no small amount of attention now, and which is at least one of the big reasons progressives will be coming out to vote. Believe me, we’re paying attention to the Kloppenburg campaign, and so are many political orgs (including the LGBT one).
But here, in tiny Appleton, I’ve had the pleasure of watching two people step up to run for City Council exactly because they knew they had to. The first is Teege Mettille, who is running in Appleton’s 11th District. He’s a foster parent, as well as an adjunct faculty member and admissions counselor for two local universities.
The second is Christoph Wahl who lives in Distict #1, a district where the only candidate left running was a Tea Party Republican with possible connections to “White People’s Heritage” group (which, in a city that is home to the John Birch Society, you don’t laugh off). His opposing candidate dropped out, & Wahl, who has lived in Appleton all of his life, decided to step up. He didn’t have time to get added to the ballot; he’s running a write-in campaign in a district with about 4500 residents, about 1800 of which are registered to vote, and of which, about half voted in the last election. That is, he is running to win in a district where every single vote will count.
Which is why it’s about a million times more important for progressives and Democrats to get out & vote on Tuesday — or, if you live in WI, before Tuesday, as we’ve got early voting here. So go do it. Give someone else a ride to the polls. You don’t (yet) need a photo ID. BUT GET OUT & VOTE, WISCONSIN!