I Did Something (Political)

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Romosome
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I Did Something (Political)

Postby Romosome » Thu Mar 02, 2017 6:38 pm

Today I made a topic on the boards for people to post in when they've done something constructive, related to politics.

It's hard to keep track of even what we've done ourselves, sometimes. Let's make a little pile of deeds.

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Romosome
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Re: I Did Something (Political)

Postby Romosome » Thu Mar 02, 2017 6:43 pm

Today I called Senator Diane Feinstein's office as a consistuent, and politely told them I wanted Sen. Feinstein to demand Sessions resign. It was quick and easy. It made me feel good.

If you live in California you can call her staff and politely tell them the same. Just pick the office closest to you:

San Francisco : (415) 393-0707
Los Angeles : (310) 914-7300
San Diego: (619) 231-9712
Fresno: (559) 485-7430


Sen. Kamala Harris has already called for his resignation and I support her stance. Feinstein seems to feel that recusal is enough, and I disagree.

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Mothra
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Re: I Did Something (Political)

Postby Mothra » Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:40 pm

I like this.

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Mongrel
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Re: I Did Something (Political)

Postby Mongrel » Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:43 am

Man, this reminds me that I keep forgetting to call my city councillor about road tolls.

One which was really stupid recently got shot down in spectacular fashion (for dumb political reasons, but I'm not unhappy) - it would have DESTROYED traffic right in my neighbourhood, which is exactly what happens when there's any construction on the highway they wanted to toll. I don't mind them and they can be a good tool - if done right. So I want to press her to propose and support smarter alternatives like a congestion charge or something that doesn't just fuck one neighbourhood in a very local way.
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Friday
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Re: I Did Something (Political)

Postby Friday » Fri Mar 03, 2017 3:07 pm

Three weeks ago I had a long discussion with a conservative parent of a friend of mine and convinced them that maybe god didn't put Trump in the White House we did, we're a fucking narcotics agent and he might not be "just what America needs".

It turned out in this case that the person had just literally never seen the collection of tweets, quotes, etc that we all love to share with each other. I'm coming to realize more and more that the "ubiquitous" information that we assume everyone has access to (the internet feed we all partake of) is actually not getting to a very large percentage of the population, at all, in any way.

Sure, this person watches Fox News and is therefore in the echo chamber of doom, but more than endlessly echoing the good, I have come to realize that what Fox News and it's ilk does is just completely shut out the bad.
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McDohl
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Re: I Did Something (Political)

Postby McDohl » Tue Mar 21, 2017 5:40 pm

Called Hatch and Lee's local offices re: Gorsuch. Might make it a normal thing for my commute home. I walk a few blocks to my car, enough to squeeze out a complaint or opinion civilly

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François
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Re: I Did Something (Political)

Postby François » Sun Apr 09, 2017 4:08 pm

A few weeks back, I signed a petition to signify opposition to a municipal administration scheme to change zoning boundaries around a block in my neighborhood that they had bought in order to tear down the three apartment buildings (housing 11 families, mostly Haitian immigrants by now IIRC) there and replace it with a parking lot.

Anyway, the petition passed by four signatures (holy shit) over the minimum required to force the city to hold a "registre" procedure, which itself would force the city to hold an actual referendum as long as at least 45 people living in and around the affected area show up at City Hall on Wednesday to signify opposition again. (I'm going, of course.) It's kind of bullshit that there's this extra step between the petition and the actual referendum, but heck, we made it this far, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

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Mothra
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Re: I Did Something (Political)

Postby Mothra » Sun Apr 09, 2017 5:29 pm

Holy shit. Nicely done.

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François
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Re: I Did Something (Political)

Postby François » Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:10 am

Oh man, some more info came to light in the local paper and the whole thing's a goddamn rabbit hole of shitty decisions.

Okay so. Downtown Saint-Hyacinthe has a pretty big parking problem. There's a commercial street running through it, densely packed with all kinds of mid- to high-class shops and clearly intended to draw in people from the entire region. Sandwiched between this street and a loop in the Yamaska river is a working class neighborhood dating from the city's industrialization era 200+ years ago, and these days it's largely populated by low-income old people, young families, immigrants (the school is like 25% black kids), and people like me who just don't got a lot of dosh for one reason or another. Anyway, the streets are narrow, there are tons of one-ways, and there's practically no room for street parking. So in the end, the automobile traffic for the commercial street has nowhere to settle in, and it's kinda choking the business. This does suck of course. I like that commercial street, the atmosphere's great for foot traffic, there's this amazing 150 year old public market which is a delight to shop in, and there isn't one chain store or restaurant in sight. I absolutely want the local merchants to do better, they're good people, the whole area has rad history behind it and it deserves to flourish.

A few years ago, City Hall decided to put in meters on most of what little street-side parking spaces there are, under the notion that it'd keep people from sticking around more than necessary and keep cars moving. Long story short, visitors largely don't use the metered parking, and if they can't find a free space in one of the two dedicated lots, they mostly give up and go home. So that too is choking the business. Now City Hall is looking to make one of the free lots larger by, you guessed it, buying homes in the working class area so they can bulldoze them and so on and so forth.

That's messed up enough already, right? It gets worse.

It turns out City Hall's in a damn hurry to make one of its two free parking lots larger because a private company is putting a lot of pressure to buy like half of the other lot so they can build a 15 story tall luxury retirement home that would house 270 rich-ass old people. So in the end, their plan is to shuffle the parking spaces around the already-congested downtown (losing a couple dozen spots in the process, natch) to make room for 270 new residents. So we lose parking, we lose business, car traffic gets worse, and low-income people lose their homes. At this point I hope some douchefuck put a giant sack of money on the mayor's desk because otherwise everyone in City Hall is a fucking moron.

If that wasn't bad enough, my view of the river would be replaced by a delightful 200' tall concrete structure. I couldn't even see the sky from my living room windows anymore. Glorious.

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Mongrel
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Re: I Did Something (Political)

Postby Mongrel » Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:00 pm

Are idiotic municipal shenanigans are a grand Quebec tradition or something?

Also, good on you.
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François
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Re: I Did Something (Political)

Postby François » Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:31 pm

Very few population centers outside of Montréal and Québec City are both large enough and remote enough to have a local branch of the big TV networks, so your average citizen is more likely to know more about the municipal politics of Montréal/Québec City than their own. Which is of course all kinds of messed up, because municipal politics often have at least as much impact on their lives than provincial or federal politics, and they're a lot easier for small groups of people to influence.

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Mongrel
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Re: I Did Something (Political)

Postby Mongrel » Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:25 pm

I mean, idiotic municipal shenanigans are also a Toronto tradition. As always, it's hard to say if "complete morons" is better or worse than "blatantly corrupt".

Jokes aside, though I have a lot of respect for Régis Labeaume. It's not like I've followed his career in detail or anything, but he actually seems like a pretty good mayor, who honestly cares a lot about Quebec City and everyone living there.

To be fair, he and Nahid Nenshi seem to get a lot of press outside their respective provinces, but it seems like they both deserve it fairly for being (omg) good at their job.
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François
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Re: I Did Something (Political)

Postby François » Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:54 am

And done. Came in twenty minutes after opening, second name on the list, with the third right behind me. It's in everyone else's hands now.

Man but their shit's hostile though. It's a bit of a hollow comparison, but two different people had to verify my ID and place of residence, while actually voting in a provincial/federal election requires only one check. Oh well!



Mongrel wrote:I mean, idiotic municipal shenanigans are also a Toronto tradition. As always, it's hard to say if "complete morons" is better or worse than "blatantly corrupt".


Eh, I figure smart-but-corrupt might make a good decision once in a while when no one's purchasing them, while all bets are off all the time with box-of-rocks types.

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François
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Re: I Did Something (Political)

Postby François » Thu Apr 13, 2017 5:47 am

Oh wow, the registry actually needed 41 signatures to pass. It got 44.

:D :D :D

The city administration is now deciding whether it's worth it to go to referendum, or if it just cancels the rezoning process entirely. I'm not sure what the time frame for that is, but I'll be attending the next council meeting if my sleep cycle aligns right and hopefully we'll hear about it then.

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Mongrel
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Re: I Did Something (Political)

Postby Mongrel » Thu Apr 13, 2017 3:57 pm

Woah nice!
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François
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Re: I Did Something (Political)

Postby François » Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:11 pm

I attended the city council meeting tonight. I was literally the only member of the public in the room, and at some point it dawned on me that I was also the only person there who wasn't obligated to be there. I don't know how these things usually go but I had a weird feeling my presence was a total surprise for everyone involved.

There was a brief talk about buying some sort of vehicle for roadwork, and towards the end of that segment the mayor got startled for a moment and said "oh uh do we have any concerns about this from citizens today", and everyone in the place looks at me expectantly, like I'm gonna grouse about the brand of truck they're picking or something. Maybe they get cranks sometimes? I shrugged emphatically, they carried on: hires, renovation permits, other such miscellaneous city stuff.

Anyway. There was a moment to ask questions at the start of the session, but I kinda expected them to address the whole parking/demolition situation at some later point (they didn't, yikes), plus I was nervous about being in that place for the first time without the faintest notion of the protocol involved (I've mostly shrugged off my social anxiety from when I was younger but man that whole bizarre scene was a situation my life so far had failed to prepare me for), so I didn't step forward with the actual reason I was there. But if no further news come out on the topic by next meeting on May 1st I'll go back and I'm sure I'll manage to bring it up.

In any case, if that's how things always are in that building, I no longer have to wonder about how they manage to sneak bullshit past the plebs. There's fifty-three thousand of us and nobody's paying attention. Good grief.

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Mongrel
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Re: I Did Something (Political)

Postby Mongrel » Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:17 pm

I know a guy who is a city councillor for his small suburb and it seems to me that in small towns no one showing up is the norm more often than not.
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François
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Re: I Did Something (Political)

Postby François » Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:41 pm

Well... Yeah. I mean, I get it. It's dirt boring for 55 minutes. It's church boring. Heck, at least Mass has pleasant organ music.

And then poor people lose their homes and half the parking downtown goes up in smoke. Man, stuff's fucked up. Something something banality of evil cough cough.

Cripes I was better dressed than like 20% of the elected officials there, and I'm poor and sick. At least give one half of one shit, you effing leeches.

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beatbandito
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Re: I Did Something (Political)

Postby beatbandito » Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:01 pm

There's an actual name for this, but I don't remember it, so I'll call it 'McDonalds Theory'. Basically, when burger slave at mcdonalds drops your patty on the floor he doesn't think of feeding that to another human being, he thinks about the hassle of doing the right thing, and just lets it go. That goes all the way up the chain.
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Friday
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Re: I Did Something (Political)

Postby Friday » Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:35 pm

Maybe they get cranks sometimes?


Really, it's almost entirely cranks. I've watched city council meetings on my local station and the things "concerned citizens" say makes you want to kill yourself.

It's basically the same principle as why the internet seems to be full of weirdo extremists. Crazy lends passion. You can be passionate without being crazy, but that's harder. Most people just don't care enough to speak up, even if they do have opinions.
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