NewsFeed: Politics and Knowledge

In the last day or so, there has been a lot of political action on twitter, facebook, and just about everywhere else. Whether you've changed your profile picture to a symbol or shared the President's address on gun control or argued with or even "unfriended" your counterparts in the social media world, you've likely seen some effect of the churning political climate.

I've always been politically active and consider myself fairly vocal about the things I believe in. I vote and take that responsibility seriously. I read and watch and listen when officials say things and do things. I don't just accept what my friends might say on the issue. I go to the source. So, this morning, I didn't watch just the excerpted piece of President Obama's address; I wanted to watch the whole thing (it's not that long). I wanted to know all of what he and others said - not just the sound bite. And when I did, I realized something: I have been a resident of the state of GA for over a year, and I don't know who my Congresspersons are. I barely know the name of the Governor. When I think of contacting my senators, I still think of those in TN. So, when the President urged us all to contact our representatives, and I didn't know who to contact, I was chagrined. Ashamed. And pulled out of my funk enough to fix it.

I was surprised (I'm not sure why) to learn that all of the major figures in GA government are white men - every, single one. I thought I had a hope with one name (Lauren McDonald), but that hope was dashed when I found that Lauren is most definitely Caucasian and goes by "Bubba." I kid you not.

I don't mean to make fun of my new home state. I want to be proud of it, to be proud to be a Georgian. (And really, TN is not much better). I also must start knowing what's going on in my state. And if I want that list to look different, I need to get involved. So, I have subscribed to the governor's weekly email. I used GovTrack.us to identify and track my state senators (both white males) as well as my district and its representative (do I have to say it? -white male-). I have subscribed to his email service as well and am now following 2 of the 3 on twitter (one does not approve of these online shenanigans, it would appear). If I'm going to live and vote in this state, I have to know what my elected officials are doing.

I'm urging you today to do the same. I don't care if you are democrat, republican, tea party, or alien. I don't care if you agree with the decisions or politics of your officials or, like me, disagree with almost everything they do. I also don't care if you feel disengaged from or disgusted with the state of politics today. If you want things to change, you have to be informed. End of conversation.

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