I’d Sit Out The Alvarado-Garcia Texas Senate District 6 Race Because It Offers No Hopeful Options—Should We Cast A Ballot For Mayor Of Houston In 2013?
As far as I recall, I’ve voted in every election since I turned 18. But I would sit it out if I could vote in the Texas State Senate district 6 runoff between Democrats Carol Alvarado and Sylvia Garcia. This is a Houston-based district.
(Above–A picture I took of Sylvia Garcia at a function late last year.)
There is little ideological or policy difference between the two, both campaigns are captive to special interest money, the campaign has been relentlessly negative, and turnout will be so low as to delegitimize the process. While ultimate responsibility lies with the electorate, it is also so that what voting will accomplish in this case is to legitimize a process that offers no real options.
As I think out my new blog on 2013 Houston city politics, one question I want to explore is why should people vote in 2013? What potentially more hopeful and useful actions can we take to help direct the course of our city?
While I suppose I’ll find at least one race that compels me to vote for whatever reason, I did in fact leave my ballot blank for Mayor of Houston in 2011.
Even with the understanding that I am just one person of 2.1 million in Houston and that I can’t always have my way, no candidate came even approximately close to my views and Mayor Parker had no credible opposition in any case.
Turnout in 2011 was something like 14%. The process has no relevance to most people. Our political leaders and the big donors who direct them are just fine with this fact.
If Ben Hall and Mayor Parker-Both Democrats-pander to the right, practice identity politics to the exclusion of substance, ignore the needs of the poor, and offer no new vision–Then why should we care who wins?
The work of freedom is up to each of us. It is past time that we take up this obligation in a serious and more imaginative way.
(My comrade Perry Dorrell has been writing about this race at his great blog Brains & Eggs. Here is the most recent post on the SD 6 race by Charles Kuffner at Off The Kuff. And here is the most recent Garcia-Alvarado post by Stace Medellin at Dos Cantavos.)