I have never cared so much about a city in my entire life. Today was a landmark day as I strolled up Jackson in this gorgeous weather, and voted for the very first time as a New Orleans citizen. After years of following the politics of this city from afar, the struggles and the corruption and the strife AND the small successes, and then being here for over a year and seeing it all up close and personal, it was really quite an emotional experience to go to my polling place and at least have my say about who should do what. Sure, I did all that mayoral voting in Denver, but was never really that attached to anything I did. And I always participate in Presidential elections. But I’d never, ever sat down before in preparation for a city election day to pick over every single candidate running for every single office with a very fine-toothed comb. It took hours, literally.
You see all the stuff that goes on down here, and you realize how significant every position is. It’s not just the Mayor that counts, it’s most certainly the Sheriff. And the Coroner. And definitely City Council. It’s hard NOT to get involved in politics in this place, and if you care, you get your tookas out there and by golly, you Geaux Vote. After that, you earn the right to protest and put your foot down when these people do something dumb again.
If only we could vote for council-members outside our own district. Because you see, for me, it’s not just about my own neighborhood, here. My scope goes beyond that and embraces this entire city as Home. Everything matters here, everywhere. What these people do, all over, affects all of us.
So I did my homework, and made the best decisions I felt I could, and I voted. I’m not here to preach or talk about the people I decided to vote for or to tell anyone reading who THEY should vote for. But I voted as a New Orleanian today.
And that felt really good.