In my column last week I mentioned the amazing efforts of Texans organizing mutual aid networks to keep themselves alive while the government — local, state and federal — sat around and abandoned people.
It seems weird I have to write this column, but I can’t say I’m surprised. Last week, Texas was thrust into a climate change-induced winter storm that’s thrown its power and water supply into chaos. No one knows yet how many deaths will eventually be tied to this. The state and federal response would be laughable if the implications weren’t literally life and death.
Artists do most of the work by creating phenomenal, memorable music. They match the right instrumentals with the right vocals and lyrics to change our lives in a span of usually three minutes. The only remaining responsibility is for DJs, party enthusiasts and those holding the aux cord to choose how these songs all fit together in order to create the ultimate playlist.
While federal elections tend to take the spotlight at the ballot box, local elections — such as state legislature — are of equal, if not greater importance. Especially coming off of a census year, the elections for state legislatures are even more important as redistricting enters the scene again.
While I can only speak for myself, I’m sure I’m not alone when I say this semester has been interesting — to say the least. Me and many other students not only dealt with the standard juggle of school, work and family, but also the worsening COVID-19 pandemic and declining mental health as social and political upheaval continues to grip the nation.
“I don’t want a lot for Christmas/ There is just one thing I need,” plays over the speakers in my car as I’m driving to work. As I’m about to full-on belt and dance to this song, I wonder: is it too early to start this?
I was 14 on election night in 2016. I remember going to bed thinking I would wake up and have the next president of the United States be Hillary Clinton and that was it. I didn’t go out of my way to research and watch the news as I do now — I was 14, so my biggest concern was whether it would be Hazel or Augustus who died at the end of “The Fault In Our Stars.”
Imagine if you could rank the candidates on a ballot the way you rank your favorite movies. Ranking them in order from favorite to least favorite — knowing if your top choice doesn’t win, your vote still goes to someone you like. Well, there’s actually a voting system that does this called ranked choice voting. For the next election, Americans should try ranked-choice voting (RCV) as a new way to submit our ballots.