Trisha Gambel casts her primary vote at Bouquet Canyon Church in Saugus on Nov. 8, 2016. KATHARINE LOTZE/SIgnal. 06072016

Santa Clarita locals launch League of Women Voters chapter

Looking to engage locals in democracy, the League of Women Voters has launched a chapter in Santa Clarita to rally residents to do their civic duty.

The group is completely nonpartisan and is open to anyone of any age, sex or political ideology.

“We are using this as a way to inform people about democracy, what’s going on and what needs to be changed,” Patty Robinson said.

League of Women Voters in Santa Clarita is focusing on three goals, including civic literacy and awareness, civility and civil discourse and social responsibility as a member of American democracy.

The goal is to inform voters about issues, not sway them in any direction, Robinson said.

“We don’t want to get caught up in party politics,” she said. “We hope to be able to bring about greater knowledge of civility.”

Locals first met in June and were mentored by a representative from a San Diego chapter of the league, as well as other state and national contacts, to help them get started.

“We all share the same vision,” Robinson said. “We are here to inform.”

Santa Clarita’s group plans to gather information from both sides of the political spectrum in order to let community members come to their own conclusions, according to Gene Dorio, one of the group’s male members.

“We’ve seen here in Santa Clarita a political division of individuals who are on the far left and far right,” Dorio said. “We saw the league as a means to bring things to the center and bring useful information to those who want to be civically engaged.”

By bringing up critical topics such as women’s rights, health care and issues for seniors and children, Dorio said he hopes to impact Santa Clarita residents’ lives for the better.

“If we can enhance the quality of life in some way through civic engagement, it will improve the lives of everyone here,” he said.

In addition to informing people about what is on the ballot during election years, the group hopes to encourage community members to vote.

On Tuesday night, League of Women Voters National President Chris Carson was invited as a panelist at a civic engagement session at College of the Canyons, where she used to teach. This is the Santa Clarita branch’s inaugural sponsored event.

For more information on the local league or to get involved, email [email protected].

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