Questions for candidates, please (18)

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(18th in a series of posts on candidates for election)

Aidan Levinson, “Your View by Emmaus High School student: Why local elections are crucial to our daily lives.” Morning Call, April 4, 2019.

There are too many elected officials at the local level with partisan and self-serving agendas driving them. . . . The impact local government has on our daily lives is real and powerful. . . . Washington, D.C. isn’t the only place where laws are made and policies are developed that affect us. Get involved, get active, learn more about our local government organizations. I hope to see you out there pushing for change and voting in every election.

Gadfly urges you to read Aidan for a bit of Friday morning civic participation tonic. A waker-upper!

So we have a City Council election coming up. Do you know the candidates? Can you identify them? Can you distinguish them?

Appearance is one thing, but distinguishing them on the basis of their talent, intelligence, goals, position, beliefs, experience, and so forth is, of course, the most important thing. Gadfly wants to be the most informed voter in a local election that he has ever been. And he wants to help others who feel the same way. That might mean getting out to see and listen to and question the candidates, though that is not always possible or efficient.

So, in order to distinguish the candidates on substance, Gadfly has asked the candidates to reply to a series of questions/prompts that he will publish together for efficient comparison. The candidates are graciously cooperating. Last week they addressed their personal qualifications, this week it will be their platform issues, and next week they’ll be asked to pick one of their issues and go deeper on it.

Gadfly would like some help on forming the subsequent questions/prompts. What do you want to know? If you were at a “rally” or a debate, what would you ask of the candidates? Gadfly would like to know, and he will compile and condense them and present them to the candidates.

For instance, Kathy Fox offered an example of such a question/prompt when Gadfly opened this thread back in February:

So, prospective city council members, what changes in the existing City of Bethlehem zoning, planning, building codes, etc. are you willing to propose and support to more effectively battle climate change on a local level, and how quickly will you do this once you are elected?

That’s the kind of thing that Gadfly wants from you. And your contributions don’t have to be as polished or as finely honed as Kathy’s. And you are not limited to one. And they will be anonymous. Let him know howevermany topics on which you would like a response that will help us get to know the candidates in a significant way and help you build the good judgment that leads to a meaningful, informed vote.

Gadfly hopes to hear from you!

Take the “Connecting Bethlehem” survey and encourage someone else also


One thought on “Questions for candidates, please (18)

  1. Gadfly & the candidates might be interested in a recent post on the Culture of Health blog, titled ‘A Blueprint to Help Communities Promote Equity’. While it focuses on health equity, the principles are universal.

    One key is the need to *actively* involve community members who will be most affected… This means ensuring that residents understand potential trade-offs and indirect consequences of policy decisions and have a say in what happens. Proposed actions should deal with the systemic issues that are causing problems.

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