San Bernardino Seal

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 11/09/13, 6:52 PM PST |

SAN BERNARDINO >> As he strolled toward his car, Miguel Osorio, 22, bent over to pick up a piece of trash left on the sidewalk next to D Street.

He does it fairly often, he says, even though it sometimes earns him funny looks.

“People are like, ‘why?’” Osorio said. “It’s because I care about the city.”

In the slightly more than four years he’s lived here, Osorio said, he’s tried to participate in community cleanups, recently bought a historical home — generally makes a strong effort to contribute to the community.

That’s why he voted in the 2011 city election, why he voted in the 2012 presidential election, why he planned to vote in Tuesday’s election.

But he didn’t.

“I worked until 6 — I know polls were open until 8, but I didn’t go after that either,” Osorio said, looking downward as though in shame but then making eye contact. “I want to be honest: I should have but I didn’t.

“I think I failed the city.”

Osorio’s reaction may be an unusually strong one, but the fact that he stayed home for what many called a historic election isn’t.

The 10 candidates on the ballot for mayor collectively drew 12,630 votes — not including the 687 ballots countywide that haven’t yet been counted — in a city with 78,118 registered voters. That’s 16.2 percent, compared to 21.6 percent who cast a ballot for mayor in the 2009 mayoral election.

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