In January of 2016, having resisted for 32 years,
I became an American Citizen.
It was a marriage of convenience at best (see box)
I was first eligible to apply for citizenship after five years on a green card. I was hesitant to do so because, at that time, the US frowned upon dual nationality. Plus I had relinquished my South African passport in favor of a British one, granted to me as a citizen by registration. This seemed a rather tenuous status as citizenship requirements for the UK had changed between the birth of our older daughter and that of our son, three years later. So basically I was reluctant to rock the boat.
Then I needed to renew my Green Card. To cut a (very) long story short, it got lost in the mail, and it seemed easier to apply for citizenship rather than re-applying for a Green Card. So that's what I did.
The good news was that I would be able to vote for the very first time in my life (another long story).
The bad news was I couldn't vote for Bernie because I was unaware that independents can't vote in primaries, and New York has ridiculous rules about when you can change your registration (before the election prior to the one you want to vote in.)
I'd really rather not talk about the 2016 elections as I still hope it was all a really bad dream and that I'll wake up one day to find that Bernie is actually President or that Obama was granted a third term.
Being able to vote was not the beginning of my interest in politics. I have been writing angry letters to the editor since 2012, and blogging.
I have even written two books with political undertones. The first, A Better Way, looks at how we need system change to stave off climate change. The other, Bag Babies save Civilization, is about how sixth graders persuaded Congress to pledge allegiance to the whole world and all living things.
And I ran, unsuccessfully, for Mayor of Corning in the hopes of getting the city, its residents, its organizations and its businesses to wake up to the crisis the world is facing due to man's wholesale destruction of the planet.
What I was not able to do as Mayor, I have been attempting to do as an individual, through my 2020 initiative.
Now that I am running for Mayor again, it is important to present my views on major issues, even those outside the control of the Mayor and Council of a small upstate New York city.