We are less than a month away from this year’s primary election on May 15. I feel very strongly about the importance of voter choice and am grateful that Meridian voters have a diverse choice of candidates for the state legislature seats in all four of our legislative districts – Districts 14, 20, 21, and 22 as well as for our County Commissioners.
While having a variety of candidates is important, just as important is the need for an informed electorate. For voters to make meaningful choices, they must have the opportunity to get to know something about the candidates and what they stand for.
Recently, the Meridian Chamber of Commerce’s Government Affairs Committee hosted a pair of well-attended candidate forums which allowed the candidates from Meridian’s legislative districts to introduce themselves and to answer a series of questions posed to them by the events’ moderators. I applaud the Chamber for holding these forums as a way for the business community and interested citizens to learn more about those running for office.
In a similar fashion, the Meridian Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council (MYAC) will help the public further their dialog with these legislative candidates by hosting a pair of candidate open houses during the next few weeks. At these forums the candidates will briefly introduce themselves and then be available to meet and mingle with those in attendance and have information about their candidacy.
The first candidate open house will be on Wednesday, April 25, from 6:30—8:00 p.m. at Meridian City Hall. This event will feature candidates competing for seats in Districts 14 and 20. On Wednesday, May 2, candidates running for positions in Districts 21 and 22 will be on hand to meet the public from 6:30—8:00 p.m. at Meridian City Hall. I look forward to seeing you at one of these events.
While many in MYAC are not old enough yet to vote, it is great that they are doing their part to provide a forum for those who are so they can learn more about the candidates. This is just another example of how they go above and beyond in their service to our community.
As the primary election approaches, I encourage you to become an informed voter. While the choice is not always easy, the person that wins can have a significant impact on you and our community if they are in it for the right reasons - to represent 'we the people' not a personal agenda. You can take the following steps to make sure your vote counts:
1. Take time to learn about and understand the basics of how government and our elected bodies work;
2. Find out who represents you;
3. Determine which issues matter the most to you;
4. Find out the candidates’ positions on the issues that matter most to you; and,
5. Vote your values!
If you’re uncertain which legislative district you’re in or have other questions regarding the upcoming election, a good source of information can be found online at www.idahovotes.gov.
When you go to the polls to exercise your privilege to vote, remember the people you select and support will make a very real and practical difference in the lives of real men, women, and children in our community and beyond.