We've hit that common lull in the aftermath of a hectic local election season.
No, not coverage-wise -- if anything, Tri-Valley news remains busier than ever these days.
We mean with Letters to the Editor.
After months of receiving letter after letter after letter on various election topics (Karla Brown v. Jerry Pentin in Pleasanton, incumbents or challengers for school boards, deciding among all of those new names for city council seats in Dublin or Danville), the reader submissions only trickle in sporadically now.
We hope to see that change, and soon.
Letters to the Editor have such value for a local news organization like ours.
They are a great way to further constructive conversation about a range of important subjects that impact our residents' lives. And there are so many prevalent issues for people to broach right now: the pandemic, reopenings, education, social justice, water quality, development projects -- to name just a few. State and national news are certainly fair game as well, but we will prioritize those focused on localized topics.
But letters can also serve as an avenue to just share a positive anecdote or put something on the community's radar.
We want to hear about it from you. We need our readers to stay active and engaged, civilly.
Provided you follow our rules, of course.
Foremost, an author must live, work or have deep personal ties in our coverage area (Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin, Sunol, San Ramon, Danville or Alamo), and they must publish their full name. And we will verify.
We do have a venue for anonymous commentary -- our popular Town Square forum on PleasantonWeekly.com, where identification is encouraged but not required -- but we reserve our Opinion page in print for on-the-record perspectives.
Letters must also be 250 words or less. We generally hold firmly to that maximum; it is equitable to readers and respectful of our space constraints.
The most effective letters often analyze specific topics while penned with precision. The 250 words should be more than enough, and shorter submissions can be very impactful as well -- as you can see this week.
We do, in limited and specific circumstances, accept or solicit Guest Opinion pieces of up to 550 words, but bear in mind, we're looking for that author to represent a clear authority in a field or a unique perspective on a topic or a truly standout writing style -- and probably ideally, all three characteristics.
In most cases, we'll defer a reader to our letter guidelines.
We do reserve the right to edit contributions for length, objectionable content, libel and factual errors known to us. And submitting a Letter to the Editor or Guest Opinion constitutes a granting of permission to the Pleasanton Weekly, DanvilleSanRamon.com and Embarcadero Media to also publish it online, including in our online archives and as a post on Town Square.
Letters are generally published based on order of receipt, space, and variety of subject and author, among other factors. The letter must be received by 5 p.m. Mondays to be considered for that week's print edition.
Embracing the risk of "be careful what you wish for," we call on our Tri-Valley readers to submit those letters. Advancing productive, civil discourse demands it. Email editor Jeremy Walsh at [email protected]