For the 2022 mid-terms, I corresponded with election observers in Pennsylvania from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
Correspondence surrounded a perspective of small-party access to the electoral process, public reception to that representation; and obstacles to campaign efforts by its candidates.
Like 2022, I corresponded with OSCE observers dispatched to Dauphin County, Pa. for the general election between presidential headliners Joe Biden and Donald Trump.
Final OSCE report on the 2020 general election: www.osce.org/files/f/documents/7/7/477823.pdf.
Apparently, the international monitors were barred from Pennsylvania polls under state law. Little did I know that state law would be but one obstacle to a representative election.
As a recent, 2020 poll watcher, I raised multiple objections with the County Election Board for the renaming of a third-party, write-in candidate and an independent write-in candidate in the official tally. ("Ballot Access," "Ballot Access, II")
To ensure the recognition of eligible challengers and third-party candidates in local campaigns, I ran for the Harrisburg School Board just weeks before the special election in 2021.
Though unsuccessful and $0 in campaign funds, I garnered enough votes to maintain a ballot line not guaranteed to third-party candidates in general, and Green Party candidates in particular.
I consider my Jan. 2020 commentary "Medical Debt" (landturn.com/blog/americans-also-have-medical-debt) a viral post that provided the political inspiration for Biden's expansion of Executive Order 14009 in 2022.
In reference to an NBA player working with RIP Medical Debt, I noted that medical debt is highest in the United States. (Also see landturn.com/blog/as-american-as-student-loan-debt posted the next month.)
The Price We Pay, written by a surgeon at Johns Hopkins, brought this distinction to my attention. And it was the surgeon's book that I'd review after my "Medical Debt" commentary later that month.
A note on the geographic degree of separation between myself and Joe Biden via a high-profile Democratic operative with multi-generational ties to Penn State is forthcoming.
One of my works was also the basis of a ten-part series by PennLive in 2020.
That November, I emailed a health official and two leaders of a homeless advocacy group to suggest church pews, then-vacant gymns, etc. to meet the need for more beds. ("Homelessness, II") (Also see landturn.com/blog/homeless-during-covid.)
A response came less than a month later, when PennLive published its series on homelessness with multiple angles similar to the points of my email (e.g. "Scenes from a homeless shelter on a cold night amid the coronavirus").
Leadership for one organization of which I'm a member also switched one of its planks to homeless charity from a stated interest in human trafficking awareness the month before.
At the time of this writing, the PennLive articles remain accessible to paid subscribers only. The irony that this paid exclusivity stemmed from an act of civic engagement first occurred to me only 15 months later.
Less significant but still annoying, "Spotted Lanternfly" -- about the invasive species in Harrisburg -- seemed to reincarnate itself five days after I posted it.
An article with points presented in the same order as my own appeared in another publication as "Spotted, Smashed: Harrisburg City forester offers tips for dealing with spotted lanternflies".
For example, my blog ends, "But first thing's first: If you see one, 'Kill it! Squash it, smash it... just get rid of it.'"
The article ends, "The bottom line? Roane says, if you see a spotted lanternfly, smash it."
NAACP Environmental Committee
In 2021, the Pennsylvania State Conference approved my proposal for the vacant Environmental Committee of the Harrisburg NAACP.
Committee Proposal: landturn.com/blog/fires-in-harrisburg
As a result, I've served as founding chair of the branch committee since then.
Monthly progress updates on our development (June 2021 - Present) of a free educational product on fire safety and prevention is available at landturn.com/naacp.
State of the City, 2022
In her first State of the City address, Harrisburg Mayor Wanda Williams lauded the fire department more than 3X longer than any other department.
I believe the 17 prior updates from the Environmental Committee, particularly the one just weeks prior provided much of her talking points and disproportionate proficiency. ("Environmental Committee: Fire Safety Cartoon, III")
A note on the political degree of separation between myself and the mayor is forthcoming.
Like summer 2020, I petitioned on foot as part of the statewide effort to gain ballot access not guaranteed to statewide Green candidates. The last of four days was with Howie Hawkins, Green Party co-founder and 2020 presidential candidate.
Two days later, a small delegation of members and I delivered the requisite 5,000 signatures then approved by the Pennsylvania State Department.
Unlike 2020, state-level Democrats filed no lawsuit, which ousted Hawkins from the battleground ballot in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania that year. ("Presidential Election, III") (Also refer again to "Ballot Access.")
As a result, the 2022 ballot was extended to Green candidates for Governor, Lieut. Governor, and Attorney General in Pennsylvania.