Chicken Soup for the Swing State Soul
By Jill Miller Zimon on October 21, 2008
For real. As in, really for real. Because frankly, I will not make
it to November 4th if I don’t get to hear some good stories about
voting, democracy and learning about what makes our country strong, not
So find them and send them or write them. I’ll go first:
As some readers may know, I was really unhappy that my town only allowed one yard sign per yard. I know, I know, yard signs don’t vote and all that. And in point of fact, I never allowed us to put up signs in the first place because of my writing.
But you know what? People really like to put up yard signs
- there is just something, oh, how shall I say it like Michele Bachmann
might? Something just very American-democracy-election-y about yard
signs. I mean, I can’t even see my own yard’s signs but just knowing that they’re there? I like that.
Well, anyhow, over the years, residents of Pepper Pike have worked
on and off to challenge and complain that the one political yard sign
per yard rule was unconstitutional. Finally, this year, after I sent
the mayor and the city council a list of towns comparable to and/or
adjacent to Pepper Pike, all of which had more lenient rules about yard
signs, and particularly in the number allowed, and I included an
article from outside Cincinnati where a town was being taken to court
for its yard sign restrictions, the city council and law director and
mayor agreed to rescind the old restrictions and write and approve new
ones. We received a flyer with the new ordinance in it but I can’t seem
to locate it online at the moment. Looks like Chillicothe had some
problems and suspended its restrictions too.
Okay - so - where’s the chicken soup? Ah….not in the change in the
law, although that is indeed good for the soul and for democracy. But
Today, as I was driving my kids home after one of my kids’
after-school volunteer stint teaching computers to senior citizens, my
oldest said, “Mom! Look! Three yard sigs in one yard!” and high-fived
Now, given that I’m hearing from people I know in the Columbus, Ohio area that yard signs all
around them are disappearing, I’m very pleased to say that so far, the
Obama, McCain, O’Connell/Stratton, Mandel, Belovich, Fudge and Lawson
Jones signs that I’ve been seeing everyday up and down my pretty main
drag are all still up.
So - eat this chicken soup: I got the ordinance changed, Republicans
and Democrats are putting up three signs in their yard and so far, no
one’s signs have disappeared.
And, my kids made the connection between what mom was
trying to accomplish by pressing and pushing her elected officials,
properly and with evidence and support, about changing a law she felt
was unconstitutional, and implementing that change in the law so that
everyone can exercise their right to political speech. Not just one
candidate or issue per election year.
So feed me - whatcha got?
Cross-posted at Writes Like She Talks.