Election Day

Around the United States, people gathered at polling stations (or at their absentee ballots) to vote for various ballot measures and municipal officers. I understand other states had state-wide referenda. Here in California, it was just a municipal election.

I live in Sunnyvale, California — the home of large technology companies and no downtown to speak of. The only thing on this ballot I cared about was a local measure to fund an expansion of the public library. Public libraries are important for communities, particularly in a time when there is a dwindling sense of community (especially in places that are as unhip as a bedroom community in the sprawl of corporate campus country). The Sunnyvale Public Library is a beautiful library full of works in lots of languages, a huge music section, and a large historical collection detailing the history of the Santa Clara Valley.

I really hope it passes. I'm always for increasing funding for public services and the public library in any town is a public resource that is educational for everyone. I'm frankly surprised when my friends tell me that they don't use their library (and many don't even know where their nearest one is). That's virtually the first thing I look for when I move to a new town. It's one of the last civic services that everyone can use for their entire lives.

The rest of the ballot in my community consisted of picking four city council members and a bunch of language changes in the city charter. Reading the text of these was an exercise in self-disciplined concentration. They were incredibly boring.

Update: Residents of Sunnyvale are selfish pricks. Measure B failed. It required a 2/3 majority, but 40% of the voters thumbed it down. Assholes.

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