Staten Island: You Get What You Don't Vote For


...in 2009, Staten Island had a population of 491,730 residents of which 76.9% were over eighteen years of age (according to the US census bureau)...that means there were 378,140 potential voters living in Staten Island in 2009...

...roughly 70,000 registered voters in Staten Island cast ballots in the last NYC mayoral election...if we use 70,000 as a benchmark for the number of Staten Island residents who vote in a typical local election, 5.4% of people are determining who runs the city...

...so 5.4% of people are deciding how the city is run...

...i recently came across a news clip of protesters in Berkeley shutting down part of a freeway and the BART to show solidarity with their Staten Island brethren protesting the grand jury decision to pass on an indictment of the police officer who used a choke hold on eric garner...i love a good protest...especially if it'll shut down a branch of "the system" that is "broken":


...i don't love traffic...nor do i love the common practice of the police murdering citizens...but i fail to see the connection between stopping traffic and stopping the abuse of power...

...a protest march on Washington is in the works...fantastic...but i wonder if al sharpton and the rest of the organizers wouldn't mind reminding their protesters that a grand jury decided not to indict the officer...grand jury members are selected from the general populace of registered voters...

...additionally, most cities in america hold local elections for positions like district attorney...dan donovan has won four Staten Island races...it was his "office" that failed to persuade the grand jury that the officer should stand trial...

...so to use my perfect math and wonky hypothesis on voting trends: 5.4% of Staten Island residents have voted for dan donovan four times...the other 94.6% of potential voters have been content to let that happen...in the case of eric garner--and any other people murdered by police--you get what you vote for...or, for Staten Island residents, you get what you don't vote for...

...i realize protesting gets press...i realize there are no sound bytes when we vote...it's illegal--within 100 yards of a polling place--to carry signs or wear controversial t-shirts that make grand statements about candidates or issues...but if you're willing to stand in the middle of a freeway and stop traffic because you think "the system" is letting you down, you should be willing to stand in line to vote to change that system...there's probably less of a chance of being hit by a car doing the latter...

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