Monday, November 05, 2007

Clash Of Cultures

According to this article in the November 4, 2007 edition of the Washington Post, here in Northern Virginia, we're seeing a shift in how to impact our politicians at the local level:
Opponents of Prince William County's plan to target illegal immigrants tried marches, a boycott and a one-day strike. They organized protest caravans with hundreds of cars and turned out ever-larger crowds for county board meetings. When the plan went before supervisors for a final vote Oct. 16, scores of mostly Hispanic residents lined up to deliver tearful, urgent testimony during a 12-hour public comment period.

The result?

All the supervisors -- six Republicans and two Democrats -- voted to push ahead with the measures anyway.

The clash over illegal immigration in Prince William has placed several cultural differences on display in recent months. But perhaps none was as stark as the two competing political strategies that drove the debate and shaped public perception, one rooted in a tradition of street protests, the other largely invisible and electronic.


The contest was a study in political contrasts. And in the end, the quiet, coordinated, Internet-savvy lobbying efforts of the pro-crackdown camp won over the chants of "Si, se puede!" (Yes, we can!) and the mass mobilization techniques of their opponents....
A flood of emails and faxes was more effective than numerous in-person objections to the control-immigration legislation which the Prince William County Board of Supervisors enacted by a unanimous vote. In fact, this blogger, mentioned in the WaPo article as Greg Letiecq, organized the push from voters in Prince William County:
Greg Letiecq, the conservative blogger and activist who is president of Help Save Manassas, said his rivals' strategy didn't translate to the suburban environs of Prince William.

"That's not the way politics is done in the United States," he said, calling the rallies and protests by his opponents "a political engagement model from Mexico."
The Internet and other electronic resources are coming into their own as a way for us to make known our views to our elected representatives.

I have discovered that just the words "I have a blog" makes any politician take more note of what I've said or written when I'm communicating with him. Why? Because I represent the potential of more than one vote.

We bloggers and other electronic-savvy citizens have an advantage. Use it!

That exploding blogger in my header here at Always On Watch is more than a woman with a computer.

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posted by Always On Watch @ 11/05/2007 06:57:00 AM