Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Get Out and Vote -- Our Pride (and a Sassafras Tree) is at Stake!

In the 2004 Presidential election, Falls Church had the highest turnout rate of any City in the state -- 81% of their registered voters came to the polls that day. Charlottesville, by contrast, turned out just 67% of our voters; the statewide average was 71%.

My fellow citizens, we cannot let Falls Church beat us again this year. It's time for us to show the rest of Virginia that Charlottesville is #1 when it comes to voter turnout. Our pride is at stake! (Oh yeah, and so is the fate of our nation!)

I have challenged my colleague, Mayor Robin Gardner of Falls Church, to a friendly competition (note to cVillain and Blueweeds: I said friendly) for bragging rights to the highest voter turnout in 2008, and I'm pleased to say she's accepted; her exact words were "BRING IT ON!!!". Whichever City turns out the most voters on November 4 (including absentee voters -- click here to find out how to vote early by absentee ballot) not only gets to gloat for the next 4 years -- and Charlottesville, let's gloat humbly, please, we don't want the good people of Falls Church to get too dispirited -- but also wins a prize. If Charlottesville prevails, we get a sapling of the Falls Church Tree of the Year (they're big on trees up in Falls Church -- first City in Virginia to celebrate Arbor Day, back in 1892); this year it's a sassafras. In the unlikely event that Falls Church prevails, they get a bust of Mr. Thomas Jefferson from the Monticello gift shop, paid for by yours truly.

We are looking forward to planting our new sassafrass tree in downtown Charlottesville as a living reminder of our triumphant victory.

So now we are making a full court press to get Charlottesville voters to the polls on Nov. 4, and to get voters in and out of the polling locations as smoothly and quickly as possible. For example, the City's bus system will be free on Nov. 4 to give people a better option for getting to the polls; even when we had 9,000 fewer registered voters than we do this year, the parking lots in past elections would get pretty congested. We'll also have extra City staff on hand to help improve the flow of things at the polling locations and to educate voters about the new voting machines that will be available.

So whatever your political persuasion, Get Out and Vote on November 4! And please encourage your friends, co-workers, neighbors, family members, fellow students, etc., to vote as well.

This is the first presidential election in my lifetime when we can safely say that Virginia is in play -- and as Virginia goes, the nation may well go too. So we all have a stake in the outcome of this election. And now, the stakes are just a wee bit higher.

Charlottesville, rise to the challenge!


Lonnie said...

I believe Falls Church is one of the few cities in Virginia to seek certification from Audobon as a Community Wildlife Habitat. Here's some details of their program. It's good program that we'd do well to emulate, and would fit in well with our climate change goals.

Victoria said...

C'mon everyone-- Vote early, and vote often!

(Agreed with Lonnie re Wildlife Habitat, too.)