Wednesday, November 24, 2010

SF Chronicle: California vs. Texas

California's civic health better ranked than Texas'


'Frisco, California
It was Ben Franklin who, upon leaving the Constitutional Convention in 1787, famously replied to Mrs. Powel's inquiry regarding the product of those deliberations: "A Republic, if you can keep it." The response clearly illustrated the caution many of the founders possessed regarding the future of a nation, which extended unknown freedoms to many of its citizens. Implicit in Franklin's statement, is the responsibility placed on its citizens to participate in the civic life of the country -- from voting to volunteering.

Frisco, Texas
Few stories have cast such a bright light on the consequences of disengaging from these duties as the fiasco in Bell, Calif. Most know by now, that while wrongdoings committed by the city's staff and elected officials deserve condemnation and prosecution, the course toward the debacle was charted in a voting booth, where less than 1 percent of Bell's population voted for charter status.


Until recently, evaluating California's civic participation has been difficult, but in 2007, the congressionally chartered National Conference on Citizenship, following the release of its National Civic Health Index, produced the first edition of the report for California with the consultation of political scientists Robert Putnam, Bill Galston and Peter Levine. Now in its third year, the 2010 California Civic Health Index has just been published, and the results show that while Californians have some room for improvement in an array of civic activities, compared with other large states like New York and Texas we perform very well, and our trend lines since that 2007 report are very positive. 


This is gooder'n grits
Divided into two main sections -- social civic engagement -- (volunteering, exchanging favors with neighbors, dining with family) and political civic engagement (voting, talking with neighbors about politics, attending meeting about local issue) -- the results are derived from the annual Census Current Population Survey. This year's study, like the 2008 edition, is sponsored by California Forward, and is written through a collaboration between the Center for Civics Education and Pepperdine's Davenport Institute of Public Engagement and Civic Leadership.

On most activities surveyed, Californians rank between the low 30s and low 40s, but when compared to states like New York and Texas the results appear more golden. In political engagement, Californians continue to improve their participation at the ballot box. Both in voter turnout (63.4 percent) and voter registration (68.2 percent), Californians outpace New Yorkers and Texans, and comparing voting rates in the last two presidential elections, Californians surpass the national trend line.


Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/opinionshop/detail?entry_id=77692#ixzz16BjdQ7VW

Posted by Steve Sinai

 

8 comments:

josh hamilton said...

Haha Sinai, I am AL MVP

Joey Votto, got NL MVP

Lois said...

Great post for civility to be entertained on this Blog. Disgusting.

Kathy Meeh said...

Check the first link "giving thanks to communities on Thanksgiving", its a thoughtful Thanksgiving Day greeting. Retaliation for the prior attack on this blog? Mild and appropriate from my view. Last two picture, well? Lois, might have a point about that-- nevertheless, well deserved. Happy Thanksgiving Day Holiday all!

Anonymous said...

It looks like the "wonderful" pictures were added by Steve Sinai, because they are not in the original article. I think this should be disclosed above -- it's deceptive in addition to disgusting.

Steve Sinai said...

Aw, you're such a prude, Lois.

Lois said...

A prude (Old French prude meaning honourable woman)[1] is a person who is described as (or would describe themselves as) being concerned with decorum or propriety, significantly in excess of normal prevailing community standards

In historical contrast, the word prude was originally a noble compliment. Traditionally, it was usually associated with wisdom, integrity, usefulness, and profit. Even in present day language, it forms the root of the word prudence, meaning "sound judgement in practical affairs".

Thank you so much.

Steve Sinai said...

Damn...good comeback, Lois. Actually, I love word origins. Here's the full explanation from Wikipedia (if you dare trust them.):

A prude (Old French prude meaning honourable woman)[1] is a person who is described as (or would describe themselves as) being concerned with decorum or propriety, significantly in excess of normal prevailing community standards. They may be perceived as being more uncomfortable than most with sexuality, nudity, alcohol, drug use or mischief.

The name is generally considered to suggest excessive modesty, and is hence unflattering, often used as an insult by people who do not share the moral standards of the "prude". A person who is considered a prude may have reservations about nudity, participating in romantic or sexual activity, drinking alcohol or consuming other drugs, or participating in mischief. These reservations usually stem from, or are at least justified by, moral beliefs. Actions or beliefs that may cause someone to be labeled a prude include advocating or practicing abstinence, advocating prohibition, advocating censorship of sexuality or nudity in the media, disapproval of being nude in public, avoiding or condemning public display of affection, or exhibiting unusual levels of discomfort with sexuality, alcohol, drugs or mischief.

The term is generally used in a relative sense. For example, one may be viewed as having relatively liberal standards regarding sexuality and drug usage compared to the overall population in which one resides, but compared to a smaller, specific subculture, one may appear to be unduly conservative and thus be labeled a prude because one refuses to participate in more illicit behaviors.

In historical contrast, the word prude was originally a noble compliment. Traditionally, it was usually associated with wisdom, integrity, usefulness, and profit. Even in present day language, it forms the root of the word prudence, meaning "sound judgement in practical affairs".

The degree of prudery can vary among different cultural frames.

Lois said...

Yeah, yeah, I read it but only copy and pasted what pertained to me ;-)