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.