Friday, October 31, 2014

Sick Day

I had planned on doing a little time travel on the blog today but the family cold has caught up with me. I'm taking a sick day and I hope to get this post up tomorrow.


Have a great Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Getting Old?

Every once in a while I realize I am getting older. No, this is not going to be a post about remembering dial telephones or skate keys or Captain Kangaroo. Nor is it about aches, pains, wrinkles or falling asleep after one beer.

It's about this:

Who is DJ Biz Markie?
You see? Old.
But one thing I'm not too old for is celebrating the right to vote. In a time when many voters meet roadblocks when they go to the polls, our laws in Maryland mean we have plenty of time for early voting. We don't stand in line for four hours. We don't find our right to vote challenged or diminished by discriminatory voter ID laws. In Maryland voting is easy, and convenient.
But it is certainly not "ho-hum." Generations of people you will never know worked and fought for your right to have a voice. Their work, and your choice, is worth celebrating.
Now voting is a serious thing, not to be taken lightly, and not to be entered into without thought and research. And yet our right to vote is cause to party--this should be a time of festival celebration. The folks hosting today's event at Merriweather understand that.
I may be "old" but I know a good reason to party as well as anybody. The fun starts tonight at 6:00 pm at Merriweather.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Waxing Poetic

You can vote during lunch

In and out, won't be late

You can vote after work

polls are open 'til eight.

Ridgely Run, Miller Branch, and Harpers Choice

Are ready to serve you, so please use your voice!

Remember the power in saying, "I choose."

If you don't use that power? You guessed it:

you lose.



Early Voting runs today and tomorrow. All designated Howard County Polls will be open from 7 am to 8 pm on Election Day: Tuesday, November 4th.

So vote, get your sticker, wear it with pride. And tell a friend to go vote!


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tom Coale, District 9B

Tom Coale has some great ideas. Whether you have read about him, seen him in a public forum, or talked with him in person, I've no doubt you've gotten a taste of this. In fact, I'd go so far as to say he has many excellent ideas.

For more depth, take a look at his website. His take on the issues facing Ellicott City and the State of Maryland is thoughtful, smart, creative, and dynamic. Two things stood out to me as I tried to sum it up:

  • Tom believes in the power of smart government to make a positive impact in people’s lives.
  • Tom will continue to advocate for community engagement to make sure that Maryland’s solutions are your solutions.
And yet--what makes Tom Coale the right choice for Ellicott City isn't just his ideas. It's something more than that. In March of 2012, he wrote these words about an upcoming election:

But I will say this -- beware the temptation of voting for someone on ideas alone. The real measure of an elected official is not in what they think, it's in what they do. Can they get things passed? If they can't, their ideas, and their representation of your ideas, are worthless. If they can, you are one persuasive phone call, e-mail, or lunch meeting away from affecting positive change.

The key is that the really good ideas are almost always group-sourced. Sure, a politician may run on a particular handy phrase or policy concern, but once they are in office, the well inevitably runs dry. The effective legislator/executive will have the ability to tap the community network of ideas to determine where to go next.

Effectiveness and group-sourcing are why relationships are so important. ...your interests may be best served by someone who shares...beliefs, but has the relationships (or relational capacity) necessary to make policy.

This is what makes Tom Coale's candidacy such an exceptional opportunity for Ellicott City. This is why he draws such support from his own district, within Howard County, and around the state. His genuine desire to work with others to make good things happen is the irresistible force of his campaign.

He doesn't just stand for ideas, or for beliefs. He stands for action, and for the relationships needed to make ideas into real, significant change.

What action will you take?


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sunday Roundup

Highly recommended posts from the past week:


From Heather Kirk-Davidoff (Grounded and Rooted in Love)

Do Events Build Community?

From Alice Marks (HoCoHouseHon)

Chicness and Privilege

From Eric Freed (Away from the Things of Man)

Haircut Faux Pas

From Duane St. Clair (HoCoConnect)

Outside a Building in Downtown Baltimore

From Lisa Marini Schlossnagle (Lisa B, Mrs. S)

And the Next County Executive Should Be...

We have an excellent assortment of bloggers in Howard County. Perhaps, after reading one of the above, you'll want to nominate the writer for a Mobbie.



Saturday, October 25, 2014

The People Who Believe

It's Saturday morning. I just got up to make a coffee and turn on the heat. It is chilly in the house and I'm sitting in my husband's recliner under a fluffy blanket. The drapes are still closed but I can see sunlight peeking in at the edges. The house is quiet.

While I sip my coffee things are already well underway at the Democratic Headquarters on Stanford Boulevard, where they are having an Early Voting GOTV rally. There you will find energized volunteers and supercharged campaign staff fueling up with extra coffee. They will be working from now until Election Day is over. Indeed they have been working already for quite some time.


We may get tired of TV ads and Internet ads and telephone calls and mailers. In fact, as the election draws near it is hard not to want to find a quiet place where those things do not exist. But they do have a message for us. Behind all the organized outreach are people. People who care.

These are real human beings who care about community and good government. They are devoting their time to something they believe in. I keep reading that these elections don't seem to be engaging the general consciousness. I read about voter apathy. In his recent post, blogger Steve Charing points out:

The phenomenon of only a minority of the electorate choosing our leaders has a consequence. George Jean Nathan, a collaborator with H.L Mencken, once said, "Bad officials are the ones elected by good citizens who do not vote."

I once heard an occupational therapist and a speech language pathologist talking about a student in the early childhood program. He had one last year before he would move to an elementary ALS program, and they were determined that this was the year he would start to talk. The likely time window for developing functional speech was coming to an end and this was shaping all of their plans for the year. They were coordinating their efforts. They were working with classroom teachers, support staff, and the home. This was their last opportunity to make a significant difference in the life of this child, and they weren't going to waste one moment.

It all came down to this: to give him a voice, his own voice.

So why are these people over at campaign headquarters working so hard? To give us a voice. But first they must get our attention. To tell us we have a choice. To tell us we have a responsibility to be engaged and be a part of the solution. If we remain passive we have truly chosen to be a part of the problem.

If we remain passive we have no voice.

A heartfelt HoCoHoller! to the People Who Believe on this chilly October morning. It may seem like a thankless job, but don't lose heart. Over here at Village Green/Town Squared I'm thanking you big time.

Now grab your coffee and your Pop Tarts and get out there!