06 February 2008


I attended my very first precinct caucus last night. I was there until about 7:45, when I realized that I'd rather be home drinking and watching House. They were going to start electing delegates, but people were still trickling in to cast their presidential preference ballot. This meant that they started the resolutions instead. And sweet merciful crap, I didn't have the stomach to sit around for that.

I was there, though, to elect my precinct chair. I voted for her because first of all, the other woman who was up for it was talking on her cell phone during the meeting, which made me want to punch her in the throat. And second of all because the girl I voted for worked for Music For America (now the League of Young Voters).

She must have been with MFA after I left. I mean, if she was the interim state chair, as Indie Rock Team Leader, I would have known her. She must have come after Nichole and Sam.

After being bored to tears during the caucus and thinking back to my time with MFA, I realized that kind of involvement is far more my speed. MFA was nonpartisan. Of course, the issues about which we were trying to educate young voters were all progressive issues, but we weren't (and legally couldn't) campaigning for any particular candidate. We were trying to get young people registered and get them to care enough to vote.

The first show I worked for MFA was Spoon at the 400 Bar. KayGee worked the table with me. We registered seven people to vote and Britt Daniel not only gave us a shout out from the stage (I am also particularly fond of the MFA shout out given by Sonic Youth at the Quest), he came back and thanked us personally for what we were doing. As completely fucking cool as that was, I think I was more excited about registering those seven voters.

It seems kind of odd to me that the actual political process -- the caucus -- bored me to tears, but getting other people involved in the political process totally gets me all tingly. At an old job, I went to speak with a Head Start parents' group about the importance of voting before the 2000 election. I got choked up when I was doing it. I gave a shit who they voted for, of course, but I cared more about them voting at all.

There were some good things about the caucus. There were a ton of people there. And it would seem that was the case all over the state. The room was packed -- standing room/sitting-on-the-floor-room only -- which made my "get people involved" heart totally happy. And it seemed like at least half of us were caucus virgins. YES! That wasn't really a surprise, though. I expect there to be an even bigger youth/first-timer movement this time around than in past elections. But that's been the talk of how many of the past elections?

I was a little disappointed by the actual crowd. The Boy I Currently Like was speculating on what the caucus-goers would be like, given that I live in what is generally considered to be a pretty hip neighborhood. Either that impression is undeserved or the hipsters just aren't into caucusing. The crowd was dominated by older, kinda smelly hippies. And damn, there are some unattractive people in my neighborhood.


Brian in Mpls said...

I know I was art mine for about three hours last night

Anonymous said...

That is pretty much what all my neighbors look like.. older hippies.

Jess said...

I admire your fortitude, Brian.

Are your neighbors also oddly unattractive, JP? Honestly. Is it too much to ask for some politically aware eye candy at my caucus?

Anonymous said...

It sounds like the Boy You Currently Like has an inflated idea of what your neighborhood looks like.

He probably lives in St. Paul, and imagines Minneapolis to be just one beautiful person with an odd piercing after another.

The Boy You Currently Like is probably kind of stupid. Fair warning.

Jess said...

He's actually terribly smart, so there. Besides, he's been to my neighborhood (in fact, he's on his way here right now), so I think he has a fair idea of what it looks like.

I was surprised by all the old hippies and I've lived here for two years.