Tuesday was election day.
I woke up, got the kids off to school and then left for a day of work.
After work, I picked up the kids from school, we walked to our polling place to vote and then we stayed to work the polls for the next four hours.
When I had agreed to stand outside of my polling place to promote some friends for school board I had no idea what to expect. School board and the impending consolidation is such a hot topic around town. Would people yell at me? Would they think I was stupid? Would they agree and vote for the people I was supporting?
This was all new to me. And I was a little nervous.
It took me about twenty minutes to find my groove but once I did I actually started having a lot of fun! The other people that were outside promoting people they supported were really nice and after four hours of hanging out with them my abs were beginning to ache from laughter.
I found that I had a harder task than they did because they were each promoting one person and I was promoting five. I couldn't just say "this person for school board!" I had to actually get people to stop and listen for 30 seconds.
I always led in with "have you decided on school board candidates yet?"
I was amazed at how many people had not. Especially since the decisions being made with our schools affects EVERYONE. Parents with school-aged children. Grandparents who want their families to stay near. (If you don't have a good public school system people will move away.) Home owners and property value. Taxes for the taxpayers. Businesses. (I met a woman who owns a daycare and because of the school changes and them taking away one of the buses that came to her daycare, she will lose 25% of her annual income.) The impact will be huge.
But people didn't know who they were going to vote for as they were on their way in to vote.
So I helped them out. :)
People were really receptive.
People really liked the idea of five people who actually have children in the school district filling the five empty seats on the board.
People are ready for new leadership.
At the end of the day, four of our five won a spot on both the Republican and Democratic ballot. Four of the five will be on our school board after the November election.
At the end of the day I realized that being a part of change, supporting this group of people and having them come out on top... that's the good life! Being involved. Being informed. Having the right to vote... this is the important stuff of life!
My kids were with me for most of the night. They handed out cards with me. They ate a lot of the candy that others were passing out. :) They are learning about the importance of being involved and informed with what is going on in local politics. They are learning to love voting. And with only 26% of registered voters showing up to vote in this primary election... I'm glad my kids are learning young.
We LOVED working the polls and promoting people we believe in! When the polls closed I came home and anxiously watched as the numbers came in. I couldn't sleep till it was over... and then I still couldn't sleep. :) When the kids woke up the next day I gave them the good news. They were happy and Liza said "That was fun! When do we get to do it again?"
In two years Liza. We will do it again in two years when our fifth person runs for school board again. :)
Tomorrow is May 19th. May 19th is the day of the Primary Election.
I'm not usually one to talk politics but politics found me this year.
This is the year I learned the importance of paying attention.
This is the year I realized how important it is to be an informed voter.
This is the year that nine people who have been elected to the school board are using their power to change my life. (Well, seven of those nine anyways.)
Our school board has voted to change our entire district....They are changing the configuration of our grades and therefore will be making changes to all 14 schools in our district. 5 of our 11 elementary schools will be closed for good. They will repurpose one of them and sell the others.
My school... the one right across the road from my house... the one whose property is a short 20 feet from my front door... will be closed and sold. The consolidation of our district is being rushed and doesn't make much sense. It was supposed to save money and get us back on budget but instead the district will be even deeper in debt.
Seven people used their power to make this happen.
Seven people that were elected by the public and are choosing not to listen to the public.
Seven people that maybe I voted for in the past.
Seven people that if I did vote for them I had no idea who they were, what they stood for or what their plans and goals were for the district.
I used to be an uninformed voter.
I have vowed to never let that be the case again.
I have spent the past few weeks researching candidates, googling what the responsibilities of different positions are, learning about politics. I have talked to friends whose opinions I trust... friends who have had personal interactions with some of the candidates and can talk about their personal character.
I've been making my list and I'll be prepared when I go to the polls tomorrow. I know it's hard to know everything and I know that some people will not follow through with their promises. But in the end I will at least be able to say that I was as informed as I could be and I made the best decisions I could.
Local elections are important. The people that get into office can change things with a simple vote. My neighborhood will be forever changed because of politicians.
And I am forever changed because of this experience.
If you live in Pennsylvania www.votespa.com is the place for all your voting information. If you aren't in PA then you will have to do your own research on where to start. But I hope you take some time to learn about what and who you are voting for... and I hope you will vote!
I love yarn.
You could possibly say I have an addiction.
I buy it often.
But I haven't bought any for a few months.
I realized that I have far too much yarn and decided to take this summer to use up all my yarn... or most of it. The stuff I use to make hats doesn't need to get used up but all this other random yarn does... because it's starting to take over my house!
I've been enjoying making new and different things, finding patterns and trying things out. Here are some things I've made...
(This blanket measures 42x33 inches and it is for sale. $55)
I made a case for my kindle.
These mason jars became part of a gift to our teachers for Teacher Appreciation Week.
I filled them with Hershey Kisses, markers, a gift card and some flowers.
I made these butterflies for someone I buy patterns from. Her daughter passed away a few years ago and every year on her daughter's birthday she does a yarn bombing. This year she asked for help making butterflies and then hung them from trees at a park where her daughter had loved to play.
And lastly for today... I love making home made gifts for friends who are having babies. I made these bibs to go with a gift for the last shower I went to. I think they turned out pretty cute!
If you like seeing what I make you can follow along on my Wix-Works page. I don't post as often during the nice months but I've been sharing things as I make them. :)