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September 30, 2011 at 1:27pm

ELECTION 2011: A look at upcoming local candidate forums

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Every odd-number year Tacomans vote to determine which citizens will fill available seats on the Tacoma School Board, City Council, Parks Board, Port Commission and Civil Service Board. Often these campaigns can seem like nothing more than halftime acts between even-year elections, when citizens vote on the flashier county, state and federal positions.

I'll grant you that the even-year election positions have more "clout." However, consider the importance of the Tacoma School Board over these past few weeks during the turbulent negotiations with teachers. Consider the influence the Tacoma City Council has on our lives as they wield the city's budget and prepare to hire a new city manager. I don't mean to be preachy, only to remind readers these elections are important.

The field of candidates this year is quite strong. But the fundamental differences between the competing candidates aren't likely to be revealed in the voters' pamphlet. In even-year races, campaigns - largely due to contributing statewide special interest groups - have the financial means to deliver a great deal of information right to your doorstep (your mailbox, actually). But odd-year campaigns don't have large budgets. To truly glean information about these candidates you'll likely have to make more of an effort than you do in even-year elections. In my opinion the best way to truly get a read on the field and determine which candidate is right for you is to attend a candidate forum.

It just so happens there are a few candidate forums coming up in the next month (there was one last night, for instance, at Shakabrah Java). I encourage you to attend, especially if you're unfamiliar with the field. Don't underestimate the importance of these elections, and please understand that while many of these candidates don't have the means to reach out to you, they are eager to be heard.

Upcoming Candidate Forums

Oct. 10: North End City Council, School Board, Metro Parks Board candidates at the University of Puget Sound at 6 p.m.

Oct. 13: City Council Candidates at Carwein Auditorium (UWT) at 7 p.m.

Oct. 19: City Council, School Board, Metro Parks Board Candidates at Moore Library at 6 p.m.

Filed under: City Councils, Politics, Tacoma,

Comments for "ELECTION 2011: A look at upcoming local candidate forums " (1)

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Zach Powers said on Oct. 04, 2011 at 3:28pm

forgot to list the Urban League forum this coming Wednesday at Allen Russell Building, 1321 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way from 6-8

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