How can you tell if someone running for local office is qualified and will do a good job? If you are lucky, you know the candidate personally and are privy to their work ethic and qualifications. If not, a Meet the Candidate Forum is a great way to get to know your candidate better plus have the opportunity to meet them face to face.
I was delighted by the great turnout for Monday night’s Meet the Candidate Forum for the City of Pleasanton and the Pleasanton ISD election held May 1. The Pleasanton Express was honored to host this event. There were more than 70 residents in attendance. Rhonda Williamson, Executive Director of Safer Path was the moderator and did a fantastic job facilitating the event. The atmosphere of the night was friendly, educational and informative. I truly learned some new things about and from each candidate. It is exciting to see so much participation in the electoral process both from the candidates and potential voters.
It’s a head-scratcher. Education is our No. 1 concern as parents, yet 90 percent of voters do not vote in school board elections. Less than 150 voters showed up for the last Pleasanton ISD school board election. Voter turnout for mayoral and city councilmembers is notoriously low as well. Your vote on a local level counts far greater locally, compared to voting for a U.S. president, senator or congressperson. The stakes are high. Who you choose to vote for in this May election will have a direct impact on your child’s education and on how effectively your city operates and progresses.
In this week’s Pleasanton Express, you will find a Voters’ Guide that provides useful information about the candidates, early voting, polling places, dates and hours. New to this Voters’ Guide is a series of questions answered so you get to know the candidates in their own way. The questions are similar to the ones asked at the candidate forum.
If you missed the candidate forum, please go to the Pleasanton Express Facebook page to view the videos from the event. The mayor’s portion is tagged at the top. Scroll down to find the videos for the city council and school board. Please share and comment too!
Most importantly, do not assume that your candidate will win. You must get out and vote. Encourage your friends, family and neighbors to do so as well. Early voting starts April 19 through April 27. Early voting for the city will be held at Pleasanton City Hall from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Extended hours will be Tuesday, April 20 and Tuesday, April 27 from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Early voting for School Board will be held at the PISD Central Office from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Extended hours will be Tuesday, April 20 and Tuesday, April 27 from 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
On election day, May 1 both the city and PISD polling places will be held at the Pleasanton Civic Center, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
Please come attend the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce Meet and Greet the Candidate held in the log cabin on Wednesday, April 14, 4 p.m.-7 p.m. There will be food and drinks. Please come mix and mingle and get to know your candidates. See you there!
NOEL WILKERSON HOLMES is the Publisher and Managing Editor of the Pleasanton Express. You may reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.