Quick update on my dabbling in democracy:
Like I said before, I'm largely out of the loop on super-local political stuff, so I actually didn't find out for a while how the issue of library computer censorship went down. I finally checked it out, and was cheered by the result: after a very long debate, the council voted 7-3 against installing the filters. Instead, libraries will remind users about their policies.
So, I'm pretty happy, maybe even pleasantly surprised. As I noted before, it's hard to argue for good policy when your opponents are claiming harm to children. It seems like at least part of the reason came down to cost - San Jose is hurting like everyone in this recession, and while filters may be ineffective, they aren't cheap.
One kind of funny aspect to all this: the one person I contacted, Pierluigi Oliviero, was one of the three people to support the filters. He's the one person who wasn't already on record supporting them. So, I guess my letter didn't influence him at all - or who knows, maybe I irritated him enough to vote against me? Either way. I'm happy enough at the outcome that I'll let this slide when he comes up for re-election.