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Editorial: Electing leaders takes an educated citizenry

Whether by mail or in-person, voting is more than simply filling out the ballot.

Without voters who are knowledgeable of local issues and candidates' positions on those issues, people are elected to office based on name recognition.

This is not a good way to choose leaders who will make decisions that affect our daily lives.

A saying often incorrectly attributed to Thomas Jefferson states, basically, that an educated citizenry is the cornerstone of a democracy. Regardless of who said it and the exact wording, the sentiment is spot on.

Our editorial staff spends a considerable amount of time and resources helping Tri-Valley voters become that "educated citizenry." In addition to candidate profiles and other news coverage, as a community service, we host candidates' forums where voters can hear directly from the people on the ballot.

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Moderated by our publisher Gina Channell and editor Jeremy Walsh, our 2020 virtual candidate forums will include questions solicited from residents in the weeks prior to the event so the topics addressed mirror voter concerns.

In the tradition of newspapers across the country, we will endorse candidates after the forums and explain our reasons. Whether voters agree with us or not, we hope that outlining our thought process will lead to more and better research on the candidates and the issues.

Candidates for Pleasanton mayor and council have been invited to attend a virtual forum from 5-8 p.m. next Thursday (Sept. 3). A forum for the Pleasanton Unified School District Board of Trustees candidates is being arranged with a date to be determined.

Dublin mayor and council candidates will face off Thursday, Sept. 10.

In addition to the shelter-in-place order requiring virtual forums this year, also complicating matters is districting for some cities, school and special districts. For example, Dublin Unified School District (which has a forum scheduled Thursday, Sept. 17) is divided into five sub-areas and there are contested races for only two of the three seats on the ballot. The city of Dublin, however, is not divided into districts. The city of Livermore, though, is divided into districts, but the school district is not.

The two candidates for Livermore mayor (at-large) and the two candidates for Livermore City Council District 3 seat will face off Tuesday, Sept. 22.

We will also moderate a forum for San Ramon mayor, City Council District 1 and City Council District 3 candidates from 6-9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24.

Visit PleasantonWeekly.com/candidate-forum for information on registration for the Sept. 3 Pleasanton mayoral and council forum and to submit a question for consideration. Check PleasantonWeekly.com for information about the other forums.

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Editorial: Electing leaders takes an educated citizenry

by /

Uploaded: Thu, Aug 27, 2020, 3:01 pm

Whether by mail or in-person, voting is more than simply filling out the ballot.

Without voters who are knowledgeable of local issues and candidates' positions on those issues, people are elected to office based on name recognition.

This is not a good way to choose leaders who will make decisions that affect our daily lives.

A saying often incorrectly attributed to Thomas Jefferson states, basically, that an educated citizenry is the cornerstone of a democracy. Regardless of who said it and the exact wording, the sentiment is spot on.

Our editorial staff spends a considerable amount of time and resources helping Tri-Valley voters become that "educated citizenry." In addition to candidate profiles and other news coverage, as a community service, we host candidates' forums where voters can hear directly from the people on the ballot.

Moderated by our publisher Gina Channell and editor Jeremy Walsh, our 2020 virtual candidate forums will include questions solicited from residents in the weeks prior to the event so the topics addressed mirror voter concerns.

In the tradition of newspapers across the country, we will endorse candidates after the forums and explain our reasons. Whether voters agree with us or not, we hope that outlining our thought process will lead to more and better research on the candidates and the issues.

Candidates for Pleasanton mayor and council have been invited to attend a virtual forum from 5-8 p.m. next Thursday (Sept. 3). A forum for the Pleasanton Unified School District Board of Trustees candidates is being arranged with a date to be determined.

Dublin mayor and council candidates will face off Thursday, Sept. 10.

In addition to the shelter-in-place order requiring virtual forums this year, also complicating matters is districting for some cities, school and special districts. For example, Dublin Unified School District (which has a forum scheduled Thursday, Sept. 17) is divided into five sub-areas and there are contested races for only two of the three seats on the ballot. The city of Dublin, however, is not divided into districts. The city of Livermore, though, is divided into districts, but the school district is not.

The two candidates for Livermore mayor (at-large) and the two candidates for Livermore City Council District 3 seat will face off Tuesday, Sept. 22.

We will also moderate a forum for San Ramon mayor, City Council District 1 and City Council District 3 candidates from 6-9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24.

Visit PleasantonWeekly.com/candidate-forum for information on registration for the Sept. 3 Pleasanton mayoral and council forum and to submit a question for consideration. Check PleasantonWeekly.com for information about the other forums.

Comments

Michael Austin
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on Aug 28, 2020 at 8:25 pm
Michael Austin, Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on Aug 28, 2020 at 8:25 pm

How does A voter determine candidates worthiness to serve this community?

1. Ask the candidate a question. If candidate does not respond to the question, do not vote for that candidate.

2. If the candidate is not responding to the voter question during the campaign, the candidate will mot be responsive to the voter if candidate is elected.

3. When questions are provided to the candidate in writing, the candidate responds in a like manner in writing. That candidate is putting it all out there, that candidate has great courage, and exhibits the qualities of leadership that our community will need over the next four years and continuing forward.

4. Candidates with little or no experience? I send this message:

I recommend that you get four to six years of planning commission experience under your belt, along with half dozen years of community service. Residential voters will observe the value of your work and your sacrifice, in your service to the community.


Rich Buckley
Registered user
Livermore
on Aug 30, 2020 at 8:06 am
Rich Buckley, Livermore
Registered user
on Aug 30, 2020 at 8:06 am

8/30/2020 But “Humans Are Consistent In Getting Things Wrong” Web Link




Rishabh Raj
Registered user
Las Positas
on Aug 30, 2020 at 5:54 pm
Rishabh Raj, Las Positas
Registered user
on Aug 30, 2020 at 5:54 pm

Hello @ Pleasanton Weekly Staff,

The link to sign up for the candidate forum and submit a question (PleasantonWeekly.com/candidate-forum) is sending me to a Google Form that I'm allowed to edit and see other responses for, but does not submit answers. The Zoom link to sign up for the webinar works fine, and it says to email Steve Van Dorn our questions until September 1st. Would you want us to submit our questions this way or is the form more preferable? And if the form is more preferable, please fix it as soon as possible, please.


RonnieF
Registered user
Alisal Elementary School
on Sep 8, 2020 at 11:07 pm
RonnieF, Alisal Elementary School
Registered user
on Sep 8, 2020 at 11:07 pm

What is scarer to me is that despite community education, City Council candidate Arkin who is on the PUSD Board still thought the BART to Livermore should be built when the decision to end at Pleasanton with ValleyLink continuing East was made over 2 years ago. And that Council candidate Lee thought a “fly over” connecting I580 to southbound I680 was physically possible when Caltrans confirmed it is not.
We need Mayoral and Council member experience and knowledge ASAP and not on the job training at this critical time. I appreciate the interest in community service, but please serve on a few City commissions first before running to be an elected official.


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