So I have a new Congressional district! Just in time to vote in the general election, I changed my address to reflect my most recent move, and am now a part of New York's 12th Congressional District. Not knowing very much about the NY 12th (The Fightin' 12th!), I went to my all-purpose source of knowledge: Wikipedia. Oh, snicker all you want, I'm not writing a term paper on particle physics here.
Anyway, the NY 12th includes parts of three boroughs (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens), twice elected Socialist party candidate Meyer London (and we're bringin' it back this year! Woo!), and way back in 1968, we (unearned appropriation alert!) elected one Shirley Chisholm, making her the first black woman elected to Congress.
The fact that it was from Shirley Chisholm's New York 12th that I cast my ballot this morning for Barack Obama is no more than a coincidence, but it stuck with me. A last-minute reminder that what you and I and all of us do behind that curtain today matters and reverberates throughout history. I voted for Obama for a million reasons, big and small, and while the historical nature of his possible election wasn't a big one, it's one I'll be happy to have gotten to be on the right side of, years from now.
Let me just say, too, that the line at my polling place at 7:45 this morning stretched around the block and was only getting longer after I left. Inside, it was bedlam, and even long-time residents were saying they'd never seen a polling place this crowded before, which is good news, turnout-wise. By the time I left, they'd pretty much gotten everything down to orderly lines, so don't be scared away by the crowds. The lines move fast.
So go on and vote, if you haven't already. Starbucks is giving away free coffee! And to all my California readers voting No on 8 today like I know you will: you have my thanks. And keep voting late even if it starts to look like we east-coasters have stolen your thunder. Sorry, we always seem to do that.