Five Reasons Artists and Art Fans Should Vote

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Christopher Morgan

The Exhibitionist is an arts blog, and we aim to make your day better, so we don't venture into politics much. Election season is a drag for us too -- the constant political heads droning about this and that, the stack of un-recyclable attack ads delivered daily to our doorstop -- it's enough to make anyone apathetic. I know a lot of artists who feel like the politicians keep talking, and everything stays the same. But even if you're knee deep in sculpture, lost in your poetry, or backstage trying to find "the zone," there are plenty of reasons to go out and vote.

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5. How much art we can create is often determined by local officials.

For example, if you're planning on taking your one-man band act down to Market St. you might bump up against the zoning regulations for the area. Or, if you're planning to start an art gallery and you want to have openings, you might need a Place of Assembly permit. These types of regulations come straight from City Hall, and are written by the people we vote for.

4. Most artists are hella poor.

The types of services available to us are determined by who we elect. If you're scraping out a living as a writer, dancer, or a painter, and the only reason you can stay in the city is your rent-controlled apartment, or programs like Healthy SF, you're benefitting from democracy. Alternatively, if you've had it with scraping out a living as a marginally successful hip hop juggler and it's time to go back to school, you should have a look at Prop 30.

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Christopher Morgan

3. Recreational activities.

Everybody knows that artists and art fans like to have a good time. Maybe if the folks at City Hall had thought we would kick them out if they cancelled Halloween in the Castro, or chased Lovefest to Oakland, we'd still have those parties in town. If that doesn't convince you of the power of voting, try this: Proposition 215 legalized medicinal marijuana usage.

2. To keep the city cool.

Despite how upscale it's been moving, San Francisco is still an artistic, creative, and amazing place. Voting gives us a chance to keep it that way. Each district is allowed to elect their own representative in City Hall. That might not sound exciting at first, but think about it this way -- we get to pick one of our neighbors to advocate for our hood.

1. Because people all over the world can't.

It might sound corny but it's true. If Aung San Suu Kyi can live under house arrest for a decade to stand up to the Burmese junta, and Chen Guangcheng can hike across the Chinese countryside (while blind) with a broken foot, then surely we can all spare a few minutes to dig through that Voter Information Guide.

Does it seem like too much? If you want to do your part, but you're not sure where to begin, check out this handy California Proposition Guide from KQED.

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