(And on a side note he has a house with solar panels installed, oooh... must see panels).
One of my qualifications to be commissioner was many years ago I volunteered to sit on the steering committee of some small queer organization. I did it because I was crushed out on some girl, and I got elected because the people on the current board liked me and the position was unopposed. So I'd somewhat devalued the experience, thinking that they let me in just because I showed up.
The thing that frightens me is that is actually how getting involved in governance starts. Getting in at the starting levels really just requires showing up and being interested.
Other opportunities that my mentor was looking for volunteers for, include, there's some green party organizational structure for the county that they need more people for. There are 6 seats, and only 2 people running.
Also ex-Pasadena Mayor Bill Paparian is going to run for our local congressional seat on a platform of opposing the Bush Administration's Iraq war and rampant abuses of power. It turns out the campaign needs a treasurer, and I was asked if I was interested.
It so much easier to sit at home and whine about how the world is dying than actually stepping up and trying to do something about it, though showing up and doing something is by far the more honerable (and potentially more effective) course.
But I just figured out how to write releasable code, and that's loads of fun. So many things to do and so little time.