Texans love to vote … on everything seemingly all the time.
OK, but I’ll stipulate that when Election Day rolls around, darn few of us actually participate. We cannot blame the lack of interest on a lack of information about these elections. Why is that? Because the League of Women Voters — as well as other civic organizations — is all over it.
The League of Women Voters is planning a forum April 25 at 7 p.m. in advance of the May 11 local elections. The Amarillo City Commission election is on tap, but the contested field will be sparse, with just the mayor’s office featuring a contested race. But the entire City Commission will be present to make statements urging residents to be sure to vote on Saturday, May 11.
That’s not all. The Amarillo College Board of Regents is conducting an election that day. Candidates for the AC board also will be present at the League forum to make the case as to why they should be elected or re-elected.
Oh, there’s one more item to be considered: The Amarillo Independent School District is asking voters for some money, totaling $99.45 million, to spend on a bond issue for some construction projects.
Why mention all this here? Because the League of Women Voters forum is going to be streamed live online on kacv.org, so that viewers of the KACV-TV website can watch these candidates in real time make their case and for the school district officials to explain the bond issue; state law prohibits public employees from advocating issues.
After the event, the forum will be archived on kacv.org for interested people to look at — over and over, if they wish — to examine the issues discussed and the candidates who’ve offered themselves up for public service.
I’ve long believed that local elections mean more to most of us than national elections. We know the people who are running for municipal and school offices. They’re our neighbors, friends who sit next to us in church pews or at athletic events. The decisions they make affect is in a direct, tangible way. That’s why we should become, and stay, aware of them.
We can thank the League of Women Voters for doing its part to make us aware. If we remain unaware of these critical matters, then shame on us.