For those of you planning on voting in tomorrow's city elections here in Houston (which should be everybody who lives here, right?), check out this fellow, Thomas Zermeno, who's running for city council at large position #4. I have met him at not 1, but 2 separate local improv music events, and in the "60 Musicians" piece I was talking about before, his musical contribution was: chewing. Into a microphone. I think he might have been chewing carrots, or maybe potato chips. That's not important. What is important is that I want a man like this on the city council in Houston. So make sure you vote for him!
Incidentally, besides his prowess as a performance artist, he's also got a neat idea for direct local representation -- meaning that he'll put all the issues up on his web site, and people can vote directly there, thus influencing his decisions. Probably has some technical flaws, but I think experiments with direct democracy are well past nigh in this day and age, with computers and the internet and all. The founding fathers set up our system of representation well based on the world as they knew it, but I think (hope) we're getting closer to a point where people can literally decide issues for themselves directly. Lots of details to work out, but I think the core concept is a good one.
And while I'm on the subject of voting ... did you know that you can look up online whether you're registered or not, and who else is? Pretty nifty, though I'm glad it doesn't list your phone or email or anything, because I'm sure there are nefarious sorts out there who would ignore the part that says "IT IS A CRIMINAL OFFENSE TO USE VOTER REGISTRATION INFORMATION IN CONNECTION WITH ADVERTISING OR PROMOTING COMMERCIAL PRODUCTS OR SERVICES."