Elections, Activism, Updates, and Invitations

Heya everybody, I’ve got some news today:

1. Heads up about the Newsletter:

A while back, I wrote a blog where I talked about the results of the election, and talked about how I was thinking of starting up an activism newsletter. When 2500 of y’all signed up for it in just a couple days, it let me know that people really wanted help engaging in productive activism and getting reliable news.

Since then, I’ve been assembling my team of People-Who-Are-Smarter-Than-Me (TM) to make this happen. I want the newsletter to be smart, easy-to-interact-with, and efficient. I want it to be useful and exciting. Something you’ll look forward to showing up in your inbox. Something you’ll tell your friends about.

But that takes time. And despite the fact that the newsletter isn’t up and running yet, there are important things happening.

Specifically, there are elections happening. And if you care about changing things, you have to get out and vote.

Y2HTItLT.jpg large(Actual Footage.)

2. Elections

If you live in Wisconsin, like me. There are elections today. And one of the big things up for grabs is State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Given that the current secretary of education is an embarrassingly unqualified billionaire heiress who was appointed due to the fact that her family donates millions to politicians… well… it’s pretty important that we get qualified people into positions of power on the state level.

(By the way, Tony Evers is the guy who has my vote. He’s been doing the job for a while and comes highly recommended by my teacher friends.)

But it’s not just happening here in Wisconsin: there are four seats in the house of representatives up for grabs over this next month. Given what’s going on in our country right now, that’s a *huge* deal.

And here’s the thing: spring elections have *really* low turnout. You can make a huge difference with just a few votes.

How few? Well, I have a friend who was once elected to a seat on the city council. You know how many votes it took?

Eight. And she didn’t win *by* eight votes. She got Eight. Total. Votes.

But that was enough. And she got in.

That’s why I’m reaching out today. Your vote is a big deal. And if you take a step even further and clue in your friends and family, it can make a HUGE difference.

So. Below are a list of elections that are happening soon. Some of them are happening TODAY.

If the table below doesn’t work for you, here’s a direct link to a spreadsheet with the information.

Most of the elections are regional, and you’ll need to look up whether or not your county or city is one of the regions. A few of them are statewide, but the provisions on each ballot will still be different depending on where you live.

ALL of them are important. People on school boards have a *huge* impact on local education. Primaries are a *big* deal.

If you’re one of the people who’s lucky enough to get the chance to vote today, take the time to look things up and do your research. My team worked hard all day to try to find government websites that would give you the information you’ll need, but I’m gonna tell you the truth: some state websites are not good. Many haven’t updated since the November election.

(We’ve added this to the list of issues we’re going to try and address in the newsletter in the future.)

For the regional elections. You’ll be much better off looking up information on your city or county website. Or you can do what I do, and call up someone who you you trust and respect, and ask their opinion. Have a conversation and become more informed. (Also it’s a nice excuse to catch up with a friend.)

We’ve done our best here on kinda short notice. But this list isn’t perfect. If you don’t see your state on this list, but you know there *is* an election coming up, drop us a line we’ll keep things updated.

3. A Second Chance…

So here’s the thing, if you signed up for the newsletter. I just sent something very similar to this to your inbox. It’s probably sitting there right now, in fact. Waiting hopefully for you to click it.

If that’s the case, why am I repeating it here?

For one, to give those of you who didn’t know about the budding mailing list another chance to sign up for it here:

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

(Or you can follow this link if the form isn’t working for you)

I’m also repeating it here because… well… even if you didn’t sign up for the newsletter, voting is still important.

What’s more, I don’t know how many of you might have missed that blog. Or how many of you might have particularly aggressive spam filters. Or how many of you might simply ignore a kinda rando message showing up out of nowhere…

I will say this though. When we get the newsletter up and running, I won’t be duplicating what it does here. So if you want to be involved, hit that form.

One final thing: If you’d like to help us get this mailing list off the ground, send an email to us at activism[@]patrothfuss.com with “STARTUP” in the subject line and we’ll get in touch.

That’s all for now, folks.

Thanks for taking the time to go out and do good in the world.


This entry was posted in a billion links. By Pat40 Responses


  1. Mephy
    Posted April 4, 2017 at 7:57 AM | Permalink


    The bit where I can sign up is missing… :(

    How US focused will the emails be? Not sure how much I’ll be able to get involved from over the pond…

    • Posted April 4, 2017 at 8:09 AM | Permalink

      That was me being bad at blogging. Amanda fixed it so you can sign up now….

      The newsletter will be pretty U.S. focused. Though it’s possible if this thing gets a bunch of traction, we could branch off international version, too.

      Or, more realistically, we could make some of the tools we develop available to people who would like to start newsletters for their own countries….

      • Fenhau
        Posted April 4, 2017 at 8:12 AM | Permalink

        Please do extend to other countries :)

        • Posted April 4, 2017 at 8:27 AM | Permalink

          I should really clarify here: We’re working hard to get this newsletter up off the ground in our own country where we’re aware of the landscale, speak the language, etc.

          Trying to do something like this in other countries would be exponentially harder. If everything went amazingly well AND I won the lottery to fund it, we still couldn’t do something like this for other countries in less that 18 months.

          But honestly, it’s more realistic to say that it’s something I wish I could do. But I know I’ll never be able to accomplish.

          The upshot is that if you want something like this in your country, you might have to look around for something that already exists. It’s either that or take a crack at doing it yourself….

          • Mephy
            Posted April 4, 2017 at 9:15 AM | Permalink

            Thanks Pat, I signed up as it’s interesting to see what you guys are up to anyway.

            It may be that if anyone has a good UK, European, .etc similar service, your team could share them at the end of an email in the future.

            I’ve starting looking for something similar here but not found anything perfect yet. Often they have a underlying political agenda that I don’t see eye-to-eye with…

      • MrPensees
        Posted April 4, 2017 at 4:55 PM | Permalink

        I was just reading a blurb about how we in the states, don’t get a lot of information about what our government is doing overseas, or how other countries help (or try to) us (9-11 hurricane Katrina) and not only do we not hear about it, but our government turns away the help. It’d be nice if people overseas got involved in helping to send information that we may not be getting.

    • Amanda
      Posted April 4, 2017 at 8:22 AM | Permalink

      It’s fixed!

      • eclaasse
        Posted April 4, 2017 at 8:34 AM | Permalink

        I entered my info and hit subscribe. It’s not clear that it went through, because I remained on this page and the entry fields were cleared. Is that the nature of the widget?

        • Amanda
          Posted April 4, 2017 at 9:01 AM | Permalink

          If you don’t get a “Please confirm your subscription” email then it didn’t work, but I did a test on it and it worked for me, so let me know if you keep having issues.

  2. Emurihart
    Posted April 4, 2017 at 8:08 AM | Permalink

    As a Wisconsinite, I actually wondered – I hope Pat puts his usual voting PSA up today so I can share it. Also, as a teacher, thanks for the Evers endorsement. :)

  3. npeep
    Posted April 4, 2017 at 8:37 AM | Permalink

    Signed in from Chrome on Windows 10, and the button is not working. It just sits there after being pressed, pretending it was not pressed.

    Could I get a manual add to the mailing list?

    • npeep
      Posted April 4, 2017 at 8:44 AM | Permalink

      Never mind, I just used IE.. :|

      • Amanda
        Posted April 4, 2017 at 9:03 AM | Permalink

        I added in a direct link to the form so that no one has to resort to such drastic measures again.

  4. Nergalplz
    Posted April 4, 2017 at 9:22 AM | Permalink

    Illinois has their Consolidated Election today as well. We will be voting for municipal and township officials, school board members, and park district and library board trustees. Didn’t see it on the table unless I just overlooked it. :)

    • Amanda
      Posted April 4, 2017 at 9:46 AM | Permalink

      Just added it, thank you!!

  5. jasunc
    Posted April 4, 2017 at 9:53 AM | Permalink

    Thanks for reminding me about the Spring Elections! Can’t vote in Wisconsin, but it’s vitally important in Idaho as well: We’re electing someone for Weather Modification & Control! Only the best mad scientists need apply!

  6. mcnamara12
    Posted April 4, 2017 at 10:31 AM | Permalink

    Already was signed up. I took your little poll thing, and I chose not relevant, but still like hearing about it, because that was the closest choice for me. I live in Ohio, and there is elections in some parts of ohio in may, but not in my county/district. However, I wouldn’t have known to check without your newsletter and the link you provided, so it was helpful in that respect, even though I found out that I don’t have anything to vote for in may, because now I know how to check.

  7. MereShadow
    Posted April 4, 2017 at 10:42 AM | Permalink

    Signed up for the newsletter! Just a gentle reminder to be respectful as you normally are to everyone across the spectrum. The Devos family was the major donor to the Helen Devos Children’s hospital who saved my daughter’s life on several occasions. Only state this to defend a family who has done well by my city (Grand Rapids) – not to defend her appointment.

    I know I am probably in the minority here being largely a conservative, but I have never been offended by anything you have said. I hope I feel the same when reading your newsletter!

    Snarky sarcastic comments = good, keep them coming!

    • think4yerslf
      Posted April 4, 2017 at 11:16 PM | Permalink

      Another conservative Rothfuss fan here as well MereShadow – you are not alone.

      • MereShadow
        Posted April 5, 2017 at 11:35 AM | Permalink

        Haha – thanks for making me feel not alone! I think different opinions are healthy, just was scared Pat’s blog could be steered in the negative political scariness of the rest of the internet, and this is my safe place :)

    • Kashiraja2
      Posted April 5, 2017 at 8:12 PM | Permalink

      I am embarrassingly unqualified to have a medical practice, as I’m not an MD.

      Notwithstanding the good deeds her family may have done by donating money to the hospital whose doctors and nurses saved your daughter’s life, it is not disrespectful to say Devos is embarrassingly unqualified to occupy her post, that’s just an unarguable fact.

      • MereShadow
        Posted April 6, 2017 at 10:55 AM | Permalink

        I was just trying to say political discussions can be respectful in their differences. I think Pat has done an excellent job so far even though we are quite clearly on opposite ends of the spectrum.

        In regards to your comment, it’s a bit of a straw man argument. Helen Devos did not have an MD either, however that did not stop her from having a direct impact on saving my daughter’s life. (No children’s hospital, no specialized teams)

        I understand what you are saying, but most politician’s buy their appointments one way or the other. I was not defending her appointment either, I was defending her family’s character. Being rich doesn’t inherently make someone a bad person, but I think Abenthy hits the needle on the head.

        Abenthy, “Say a little boy has a stick, how much harm could he do?”
        Kvothe, “Not much”
        Abenthy, “Say he had a nuclear warhead with an on off switch?”
        Kvothe, “I get it, I really do… where can I find this warhead?”

        We are in a world where wealth=power, and often it is abused

        • Posted April 6, 2017 at 4:45 PM | Permalink

          I’m glad you feel welcome here, and I’m glad you’re enjoying the discussion.

          That said (and I’m attempting to be as gentle and kind as I can) it seems like you’re saying two things:

          1. Devos might be dangerously unqualified, but her family has done other things that are good, so it’s okay.

          But it’s not okay.

          2. “…most politician’s buy their appointments one way or the other.”

          When you say this, you’re implying “everyone does it” and therefore it’s okay.

          But it’s not okay.

          3. You say, “I was not defending her appointment either, I was defending her family’s character.”

          Well, her family has used its money and influence to put a dangerously unqualified, inexperienced person into high office. This is a move that will damage the educational system, and therefore harm millions of children.

          This is something her family has done. Deliberately. It does not reflect well on their character.

          • MereShadow
            Posted April 7, 2017 at 8:05 PM | Permalink

            Looking back at my comments, I feel I may have made an error. However, I feel you may have only read my last comment as well. So let me state my original intention over, much more clearly this time and try to clear up the misinterpretation as well. You may skip to my starred point at the bottom for the TLDR version.

            1. I don’t support Devos’ appointment to office, you have taught as well so I respect your opinion on this matter. It is safe to say we agree

            2. I think there is a lot of corruption in our government. The main reason I view myself as a conservative is based around my mistrust and mismanagement of our government.

            3. Good point. However, to imply someone (or a family) is completely good or bad is dangerous ground. It makes me think of Dave Chapel’s skit on Bill Cosby, as terrible as that is to say.

            Back to what I was initially trying to say is… you are respected, and are probably surrounded by a lot of like-minded people. Just be mindful of the position you are in and don’t forget people with different opinions does not immediately make them “wrong” or “stupid.” Think of it in terms of Obama vs. Trump. I have a ton of respect for Obama because of how he listened to arguments and debated them respectfully. I doubt any liberal will be able to say the same for Trump at the end of his term.

            *Respectful dialogue can win people over, the alternative will have those already on your said praising you while alienating those you are actually trying to convince*

      • Pelagicide
        Posted April 7, 2017 at 6:43 AM | Permalink

        I love how liberals feel comfortable saying things like ” Devos is embarrassingly unqualified to occupy her post, that’s just an unarguable fact.” – really? An unarguable fact? That’s really interesting, as you’re speaking in generalities, and then say it’s an unarguable fact that that person is unqualified to occupy her post” – well, she did get elected didn’t she? That in itself makes her arguably qualified to occupy her post – if you can speak with such conviction about an issue you are not actually doing – just criticizing – and telling us what are facts, and what are the correct stances on issues – from the sidelines no less, you should run – then you’d actually be qualified to make a statement like that. Just my humble opinion. Along with the unarguable fact that statements like that are hilarious – thank you for my morning dose of what is going wrong in this country – or that we almost fell into the abyss, and we are still standing on the edge.

        • Jezza
          Posted April 7, 2017 at 10:27 AM | Permalink

          “well, she did get elected didn’t she? That in itself makes her arguably qualified to occupy her post”

          Just to clarify, she was nominated to the position. It is not an elected position, so citizens such as you and I would have no opportunity to vote for her and have no opportunity to “run” for the position.

          Here are unarguable facts for you. Prior to being appointed to this position, Betsy Devos had zero professional experience working in a school or a classroom. She has never relied on the public school system for herself or her children and has no experience with federal student loans or policy. She is now leading the department that oversees all of these things.

  8. Vesemir of the Shire
    Posted April 4, 2017 at 2:24 PM | Permalink

    I am also a big fan of DeVos. She has been a huge proponent of greater options in regards to school choices; specifically charter schools. My wife and I prioritize our children’s education as the number thing in our life. We are unhappy with the Public School District but there are no other options available to us. A group has been trying to start a charter school but the public school district has been blocking their attempts. I don’t mind if people disagree but I just wish they could be more respectful in how they do it.

    Also, Pat if you ever read this, I have spent the last 2 years wanting to ask you 1 question. I have wanted ask you this 1 question more than I have wanted to ask the head of NASA if we are hiding the existence of aliens or Stephen Hawkins on the chances of seeing a quantum computer in our lifetime: have you played Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt? If so please reply with your thoughts on this the greatest of all fantasy games ever made, and, if not, do you ever plan to play it with your miniscule free time? Thank you.

    • Emurihart
      Posted April 4, 2017 at 6:41 PM | Permalink

      He actually played it for their last fundraiser and I think you can find a stream of it and his thoughts out on the interwebs

    • Kashiraja2
      Posted April 5, 2017 at 8:18 PM | Permalink

      I’m a huge proponent of greater options in fuels for cars. Specifically, I’m unhappy with the petrol industry’s pollution so I’d like to have my car run on coal, and have a coal fuel production center behind your backyard. Unfortunately, your local environment and health protection agencies are opposing my efforts. I don’t mind if people disagree with my efforts because the coal particles would very likely give permanent respiratory problems to their children, I just wish people were more respectful of my freedom to indirectly harm others because of my choices.

  9. lovelylass987
    Posted April 5, 2017 at 2:38 AM | Permalink

    I’m all for this idea, but I’d like to ask for slightly more careful vetting of where you direct our attention. The only one in the spreadsheet for Florida at the moment is a link to a referendum about whether St. Pete should have a Major League Soccer team and the funding for the stadium. Now, it may matter to St. Pete residents whether or not they have a soccer team, but I don’t think that it’s a good use of Floridians’ time to look into that and see a sample ballot for the soccer team vote. I looked at my county’s voting website, as suggested in the post, since y’all can’t find elections in every single county in the US. Maybe the best option would be to have people plug in their ZIP code and be directed to a certain place from there.

    • Amanda
      Posted April 5, 2017 at 9:40 AM | Permalink

      Thanks for pointing that out! It was rough, because Florida is one of the states where there’s no state-run website that has any information about any elections in all of 2017. That was the only election I could confirm was even happening, but I’ve updated that link to be something from the Department of Elections where you can at least look up your polling place.

  10. cjshwee
    Posted April 5, 2017 at 6:06 PM | Permalink

    Hey Pat, I really don’t want this to come off rude, but would you be able to give us an update on book 3 since you’ve now started writing about politics on the blog? To me it only seems fair.


    • MrPensees
      Posted April 5, 2017 at 10:24 PM | Permalink

      Very recently he did a Q&A about book 3 to which you could probably find a video link if you searched. During that Q&A he explained where he is in the writing, and why that explanation isn’t helpful in telling any of us (including himself) when it will be finished.
      Also in the blog post right before this one he said that he doesn’t feel like his writing is going well. He’s keeping us as updated as he can. He’s also taking time to keep people informed about things that are much more important than a piece of fiction, no matter how delightful it’s sure to be.

    • MereShadow
      Posted April 6, 2017 at 11:00 AM | Permalink

      More specifically I think he said he just removed a 150 page chunk that didn’t fit and was trying to piece the book back together. I can’t imagine how frustrating that would be as a writer.

    • Posted April 6, 2017 at 4:42 PM | Permalink

      How does discussing politics on my blog in any way relate to me doing an update on book 3?

      • Pelagicide
        Posted April 7, 2017 at 6:51 AM | Permalink

        It doesn’t, and just to state my unqualified opinion, I don’t really care when it comes out – if it does, it does, if it doesn’t, well, that’s too bad, we’ll just have to live with 2 very good fantasy novels and wow – 2 great fantasy novels? The worlds a better place already for them.

  11. Jake Trauberman
    Posted April 6, 2017 at 10:05 PM | Permalink

    I signed up for the newsletter last time around, but I didn’t receive the email Pat said he sent out prior to this post. Not in the inbox, not in the spam, not in the anywhere. I tried signing up again through the link on this post, but it said my email was already registered. Is there something I’m doing wrong, or some way to fix it?

    • Amanda
      Posted April 7, 2017 at 8:16 AM | Permalink

      Hey Jake – shoot us an email at activism [@] patrothfuss.com and I’ll troubleshoot this with you.

  12. jwmott
    Posted April 17, 2017 at 11:44 AM | Permalink

    Hi Pat, Amanda, and team. Love the books, love World Builders, and am excited to see where this project goes as well, so thanks!

    Another great author I follow (Daniel Keys Moran) has just launched an activist kickstarter that may be of interest – the Buy Blue app. The goal of the app is to easily allow consumers to avoid spending money on products from companies that are hostile to their progressive interests and well being.

    I hope posting this here is appropriate, I think its the kind of thing Pat might be interested in, and if he were so moved a link from his blog would increase its visibility greatly.


    Again apologies if dropping a kickstarter link here isn’t appropriate, I couldn’t find a private channel on which to send this.

    Thanks again.

    • Amanda
      Posted April 19, 2017 at 11:00 AM | Permalink

      Thanks for this! I’ll add it on to our list of potential resources…

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