By Bobby Jett
Apparently 90 percent of the eligible voters in Iowa City forgot that yesterday was the day to vote for the vacant city council seat. Or maybe the five minutes it took to vote early for weeks now at the Johnson County Administration building was just to long of a wait. Really? For a county that holds itself out as an example to all other counties in Iowa, this is embarrassing to say the least. Iowa City, a city that prides itself on its social activism and political involvement. A city whose citizens constantly pontificate that they want to be leaders in legislation and want a transparent government and active participation. The City of Literature, whose citizens are well-read and intelligent and constantly cry that their views are not being represented. I have heard any number of excuses already: “The election came too fast,” “I wasn’t prepared to make a choice,” “I didn’t know anything about the candidates running.” Umm, that is what the numerous debates and forums were for. That is what the newspaper profiles were for. That is what your local news channel is for. Iowa citizens had many, many chances to learn about the candidates who were running. Luckily, one of the candidates that was a top vote-getter was one of my top choices. I am happy. But, this is not just about me. You can bet that all those who didn’t bother to show up yesterday to vote will be the FIRST ones complaining about the decisions the new council makes. Guess what? You lost your chance to complain yesterday. You can’t complain if you don’t vote. Strike one. For the love of God, mark Oct. 2 on your calendars and take the remaining time before then to educate yourself about the two candidates running.
This article was originally published in Little Village issue 250.