Educating the Electorate

The media aren’t going to do it.

Have any of them reported on El Paso’s abysmal population growth rate? Have any of them reported on the decline in El Paso hotel occupancy rates?

Heck no. For them it’s all good.

El Chuqueño reaches a couple hundred people a day (actually a lot more on a good day) and, while that might be enough to swing some elections, it’s not enough to effect policy changes in city government.

Most El Pasoans (the few who actually vote) vote based on personality and not policy. If Joe Candidate is nice and polite and shows a winning smile, he gets elected, even if the first thing he does after taking office is renege on his campaign promises and kick the taxpayers to the curb.

You have to educate the voters. You have to educate your neighbors, your friends, and the people you meet for drinks after work, or in your spin class.

And you have to do it consistently. You can’t just do it when the City threatens to bulldoze your favorite running trail, or kick some viejitas out of their homes, or when a school district threatens us with a gratuitous bond issue because they’re losing students.

Or at least you have to do it before an election. People are busy, and their memories are short.

You need to become the person people come to for advice when a contentious civic decision comes up.

You need to educate the electorate, because the media won’t do it.


  1. Education of the electorate begins at home and in the classroom. Remember when we took Civics Class? Anyone? And, yes, the local newspapers everywhere I lived as a child did indeed provide information about candidates and issues, and towards the end of campaigning, presented their editorial choices for candidates and the issues. But, let’s face it. El Paso lacks a real local print news source these days, which is just as well, since nobody reads any more.

  2. they dont teach civics anymore John. i am a teacher. they dont even let us dive into the bill of rights. we have to stick to the script. nothing about the 14th amendment. just the 1st amendment for two days and bam, constitution unit is over. plus, they have it original form so kids cannot read cursive anyway. losers we all are.

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