Three things happened to change that. First, we moved to California, where every citizen in the state is invited to decide dozens of issues every go-round through propositions and initiatives. Fellow Easterners, it's crazy - they send you a booklet the size of a Sears catalog in the weeks leading up to the election describing each one with purple and often misleading language supplied by lobbyists and zealots from each side, and then it's up to you to sleuth around and figure out what the heck is really going on. Like there might be Proposition 32 to Not Kill Puppies and then you find out you're really voting to put high-test lines through your neighbor's backyard.
And third, I moved to Oakland. Enough said!
I drove a young woman home who wants to be a journalist. We had a good talk. Turns out we were both there for the same reason: we wanted to understand how the process worked and be a roll-up-your-sleeves part of it. I'll definitely do it again next time.
images courtesy of Oakland Local and The Oakland Press.