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LEAGUE BRINGS FULL SEASON OF INFORMATIVE FORUMS
TO NOVEMBER 2010 ELECTION
n six of Ventura County’s ten cities the League of Women Voters of Ventura County put on eleven Forums for the interest and education of voters in Fillmore, Camarillo, Simi Valley, Oxnard, Santa Paula and Thousand Oaks. Moorpark was not interested in a League forum and Ojai was unable to provide their Council Chambers or find another facility. Port Hueneme had three candidates running for three seats on their City Council, so no forum was needed. Ventura elects its City Council members in the odd years, 2009 and 2011. In at least three of the cities mentioned, the LWV Voter Service Team was specifically asked to come to their facility and provide a City Council Forum. This was an appreciated gesture made by those cities and the first time in many years that LWV-VC has actually been sought out for that purpose. At the request of the Oxnard’s Southbank Neighborhood Council, two School Board forums were held in the Rio Del Norte Elementary School multipurpose room.
The City Council Forums were held in City Council Chambers, making TV cameras available to broadcast forums live. Santa Paula’s forum, held in the Santa Paula Community Center, was televised thanks to the generosity of the Santa Paula City Council.
City Council Chambers and two other conference rooms were filled with attendees and in a few places standing room only was in order. Questions asked of the candidates this year came from people in those audiences. Problem areas were addressed, difficult issues discussed, and misunderstandings made clear. The candidates became alive and real to the prospective voters. The League’s Voter Service Team appreciated the many compliments that came from audience members and candidates speaking to the League’s style of forums and being “so fair.” There were a number of good articles in the press following our forums.
None of this could have been accomplished without the help of volunteers. Our thanks go to Pam Pecarich, moderator of the Rio forums, and to David Maron, our skillful moderator who also helped organize all our forums. Thanks go to members of the Rio Neighborhood Council for welcoming people as they arrived and handed out and collected 3x5 cards on which questions to write.
We also appreciate those who gave willingly more than one evening of their time: Helen LaMonte, Melanie Ashen, Pat and Jack Murray, Howard Engel, Carmen Hurd, Mary Dodd, Nell and Ed McCombs, Eunice Koch, Lorraine Foster, Jennifer Matos, Craig Rudolph, Joyce Carlson, Steve Lattimore, Barbara Doyle, Sally Hibbitts of AAUW and the many AAUW members who helped to cover the large Thousand Oaks Council Chamber. Jim Hensley took care of delivering to special places all of the Easy Voter Guides printed in Spanish (150) as well as a goodly number of Easy Voter Guides printed in English.
Different from our usual format was a forum held in a CLU classroom in Oxnard, moderated by Timm Herdt, Sacramento Bureau Chief of the Ventura County Star newspaper. This forum was accomplished in cooperation with the Civic Alliance of Ventura County; its subjects were Propositions 19 and 23. It was a thorough discussion between two panel members, one “for” and one “against” each measure.
In addition, we made a DVD, starring Timm Herdt and interviewer David Maron, which covered all ballot measures and was made available to all audiences through local cable TV. Printed Easy Voter Guides for any group were also available to individuals or groups. Also, thanks to Nell and Ed McCombs who gave a presentation on the ballot measures for the Ventura LWV Unit and the public. Finally, Sunday afternoon October 24th at 3 p.m., LWV-VC co-hosted with members of the First Methodist Church of Ventura their regular Pros and Cons presentation with Judges Stephen Perrin and Melinda Johnson doing the explaining.
With several Voter Registration efforts at the Town House and the Technical Development Center, both in Ventura, THAT’S IT FOR THIS ELECTION.
— Sue Kelley, Voter Service, Candidate Forums