Expanding Civic Engagement

The spirit of involvement in government looks it might be spreading from campaigns to monitoring the sausage-making and to helping out with governing.  We would clearly not be as far as we are on Healthcare Reform without a huge amount of pressure from the nurses and doctors and Labor and the blogs and new progressive infrastructure. 

Here especially, Mike McGinn is working to get us Seattleites involved in this process of getting Seattle moving.  I was at Jeannie Kohnl-Welles' annual 36th LD post-election analysis and heard from Gov. Christine Gregoire, State Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, House Majority Leader Lynn Kessler, county executive-elect Dow Constantine, and newly elected Seattle mayor Mike McGinn.  Reuven Carlyle served as host in the absence of Kohl-Welles, who is taking longer recovering from surgery than expected.

The rest of those folks were paying attention to McGinn, the guy who won despite them, the guy who won while being outspent 3:1 because he had a great team of mostly volunteers and they kicked butt.  The other elected paid much attention to him, going out of their way to welcome him, talking quite earnestly with him before and after the panel.  It was great fun to watch and felt very genuine.  He's showing them that it is possible to do governing differently.  We can make use of the desire that so many of us have to make a difference.  And you can win doing it that way.  
It is an exciting time to be an active Democrat, to watch as people pay more attention to the issues and are more willing to put some effort into understanding more complex issues.  This is hugely important.  Once people will pay more attention, to go below the headlines, they will vote more progressively.  
I was bust-my-buttons proud of us in this latest election.  The people of this state got it so right, at least on the statewide issues.  Having those two statewide votes on, 71 and 1033, was nerve-wracking but it sure brought out the numbers of determined progressives in Spokane and Bellingham and Pierce, Snohomish and King counties.  And what margins! The 53/47 approval of R-71, which affirmed the law that the legislator had passed called "Everything But Marriage", a larger margin than anyone expected.  Only 8 counties approved so clearly progressives were out in force in those more liberal, (all west of the mountains) counties.  But the margins that voted down Tim Eyman's latest and worst initiative were impressive.  58/42 with 25 counties approving.  Wow! 

In King County, and especially in Seattle, we voted overwhelmingly for Dow Constantine over Susan Hutchison - by 59/41, a whopping 18% percentage points.   

Seattle's election, close enough to take a couple of days to count brings us to the most interesting and hope-inspiring election win since Barack Obama's win last fall.  Buoyed by a good team, a huge number of young volunteer supporters and McGinn's increasing ability to talk with and listen to the voters and then to articulate what he was learning, Mike McGinn won this election by 51/48.

Then he immediately names a diverse transition team with some heavyweight activists.  And asked anyone who wanted to write and give them some advice.

Change is coming.



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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Allen published on November 23, 2009 10:06 PM.

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