Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign

A former co-worker this week kindly wrote in an e-mail to me that from reading this blog, it looks like I may "make my fate" through the volunteer work I'm doing. As you may recall, I'm volunteering my writing and associated journalism skills to Jerry McNerney's re-election campaign for Congress. It has only been a few weeks, but I've been busy writing, and this week I did research on campaign sign restrictions in the various cities and counties in McNerney's 11th Congressional District. I'll detail the rundown, in case anyone's interested, on lawn sign regulations in a minute.

One thing I hope to show during this volunteer stint is how my journalism skills can transfer. They include not just writing and editing, but researching, analytical skills, taking complex issues and making them easy to understand, handling multiple projects on deadline, and other skills journalists have. I still believe that they're valued skills in this economy and that someone will pay me for them.

As for the lawn signs, I created a spreadsheet of maximum sign size, where they can go, where to call to complain about an illegal campaign sign, etc. While jurisdictions vary on size and how long they can stay up, they all include the basic common sense of not putting signs on public property or where they can block a driver's view. Other than that, some cities are picky about size and some allow any size sign to go up. It's a bit of an insight into how cities are run, whether they're full or red tape and limits, or free-wheeling and open.

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