Editor’s Note: Meet the candidates!

Editor’s Note: Meet the candidates!

Michele Ellson

Last week, we announced that we’re partnering with the Alameda Sun to host a pair of campaign forums where you can hear the people running for mayor, City Council and the Board of Education explain how they would run our city and schools if elected – and ask a few questions of your own.

The city candidate forum will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, September 18 in the Regina K. Stafford Room (the big room next to Dewey’s Café) in the Main Library, 1550 Oak Street. And you can check out your school board candidates from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday, September 20 in the multipurpose room at Maya Lin School, 825 Taylor Avenue.

Admission is free, and we’d love for you to come; if you can’t make it, we’ll be live tweeting both events and broadcasting the city candidate meet on the site. You can submit questions in advance, at candidateqs@thealamedan.org, or on the day of the event (we’ll have cards you can fill out before things get underway); you can also tweet your questions to us @TheAlamedan while the forums are taking place.

If you’re coming, please RSVP on The Alamedan’s Facebook page.

We know everyone’s busy and that there are many reasons to feel like participation in local politics is optional. But this election season, there’s a lot at stake.

The people we elect for mayor and to the City Council will decide whether thousands of new homes and millions of square feet of office space will proceed as proposed at Alameda Point and along the Northern Waterfront. Elected school board members will select Alameda Unified’s next superintendent and – if the Measure I school bond passes – could chart a whole new course for high school education on the Island.

We think it’s critical to provide you the information you need to vote for the candidates who best represent your views and seem best able to translate them into action, and these forums are part of our effort to make sure you get it. In addition to the forums, we assembled a panel of community members to put together questionnaires for the candidates and are shooting short videos of each one so you can get a feel for who each candidate is. We’ll also have detailed reports on all of the local candidates and measures you’ll be voting on – and a breakdown of who’s funding their campaigns.

We’ll be adding all of the information to our Election 2014 page, with the goal of having everything you need ready and available before absentee voting begins, on October 6.

I want to thank everyone who’s helping to make our election coverage a reality, a list that includes the contributors who helped fund our coverage; the community members who drafted candidate questionnaires; the writers and videographers who are providing the stories; our partners at the Alameda Sun and MapLight; Alameda Unified’s Bernadette Gard, City Clerk Lara Weisiger and Library Director Jane Chisaki, who provided us space to do all of this work; and of course, the candidates themselves, who are offering up quite a bit of their time toward our effort to keep you informed.

Thanks for reading, and we hope to see you at the forums. If you have an idea for improving our election coverage, please feel free to e-mail me at michele@thealamedan.org.