Jim De Bree | Become an Educated Voter

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Every even year we have primary and fall elections. In each of those elections there are ballot measures, city council candidates and other elections that are relatively obscure, making it difficult to cast an intelligent vote.

This year, it is exceptionally difficult to parse fact from campaign rhetoric. That is why I have decided to participate in two events — one that is an opportunity to meet most, if not all, of the City Council candidates and one discussing the November ballot measures. Both events are free and open to the public.

The first of these events will be a City Council candidate forum hosted by the Santa Clarita Valley League of Women Voters, the Canyon Country Advisory Committee and College of the Canyons’ Civic Engagement Steering Committee. This gathering will provide an opportunity for City Council candidates to have their positions on important issues heard. The event will take place 7-9 p.m. Monday, Oct. 8, in the Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, on the College of the Canyons campus.

Our goal is to provide each candidate a fair and equal opportunity to get their message out and for the community to hear it. A significant feature of the presentation will be that each candidate will be asked questions from a panel of moderators about issues that are important to the city.

The second event is the “Cookies and Conversation” election discussion that will also be held 6:30-8:30 p.m. Oct. 18 at the Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, Room 258. This event is jointly sponsored by the Santa Clarita Valley League of Women Voters, COC’s Center for Civic Engagement and COC’s Associated Student Government. This occasion is an opportunity to engage in a civil, non-partisan dialogue regarding measures on the upcoming November ballot while indulging your sweet tooth.

We have put a lot of work into preparing for this discussion and it will provide insights into each of the measures.

You cannot truly understand a ballot measure unless you understand why it was put on the ballot, who supports and opposes it, and how much money was raised. Over $100 million will be spent on supporting and opposing the propositions on the November ballot, and you can bet that much of it will be an attempt to mislead the voters! Those who participate in this discussion won’t be misled by campaign advertising.

I hope you be able to join us at both events.

Jim de Bree is a Valencia resident.

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