How We Vote June 12, 2007 | 06:33 am

We are all used to hearing about our civic duty to vote — that we need to get into the voting booths and cast an informed ballot to elect people who represent us. And this is certainly true.

However, there are other ways that you vote in our society, and I don’t think we appreciate them enough. You can also vote by where you spend your time — if you decide to spend hours a day on computer games instead of with a volunteer organization, you are choosing that the computer gaming industry is more important than your community. You can also vote by where you spend your dollars — if you decide to spend money at McDonald’s instead of a local restaurant, you are advocating the advancement of McDonald’s culture in preference to local culture.

It’s that viewpoint which made me renew my membership to Minnesota Public Radio: I enjoy the depth and breadth of news and analysis provided by the News and Information Station, and the mix of music and new artists provided by the Current. If you’re a Minnesotan, or if you tune in to MPR over the web, it’s important that you become a member. You don’t even have to be a recurring member: a one-time contribution of any amount gets you a membership for a year, and adding to that membership count helps MPR demonstrate their importance to our lawmakers and the business community. More important (at least to me), it’s a vote in our commercial marketplace in favor of radio that treats its listeners as intelligent members of a community, not just commodities to be stuffed to the brim with advertising.

So become a member of MPR now if you aren’t already. (If you aren’t a Minnesotan, you can find your local NPR affiliate here.)

[Listening to: Big Bash – Flim & The BB’s – New Pants (05:08)]