I tell you, the best way to get people to care about something is to try and take it away from them.
Take the Anti-Voting Rights Bill (otherwise known by its nom de guerre PA House Bill 1318). Across the state, we’ve seen ex-offenders engaging in the issue of voting rights, meeting with their representatives, producing and distributing flyers, holding press conferences…all because they are pissed off about HB 1318 trying to shut them out of the political process.
In Pittsburgh, an elderly gentleman named House has stepped up to lead the fight. Now active in a violence prevention program, House is serving life on parole for a crime committed in his youth. If the Anti-Voting Rights Bill is passed, he will never be able to vote again.
House is mad as hell. He’s made a personal commitment to keeping Rendell from getting re-elected if the governor signs this bill into law. House spends hours every week getting the word out to ex-offenders that they have a right to vote, and that politicians are trying to take that right away.
So, who knows? The Flying Spaghetti Monster works in mysterious ways. Maybe the Anti-Voting Rights Bill will actually end up increasing ex-offender participation in the next election.
Unless, of course, it gets passed. That would rain on our parade.
So stay tuned–the State Senate Government Committee is scheduled to take up HB 1318 tomorrow.
Lisa in Pittsburgh