On July 13, BenitoLink launched its Your Voice—Your Vote initiative seeking community engagement for its 2020 election coverage. We want to learn about the issues that matter to you and hear the questions you want to ask the candidates for local office.
Your input will guide our reporters as they interview candidates in the coming months and help us prepare questions for the BenitoLink Election Forum on Oct. 8.
BenitoLink will compile input from as many people as possible, putting community members at the center of its election coverage. Our nonprofit news site aims to play the role of messenger—transparent and nonpartisan. We are your news, your stories, your county, but we are also your ‘town plaza’ when it comes to community engagement and election preparation.
Your Voice—Your Vote kicked off by asking this central question: What do you want local candidates to be talking about?
In the past week we’ve received over 100 responses from the community. Based on these responses we identified themes and selected a few comments to share. This is what respondents had to say:
COVID-19 and schools plan for virtual lessons, or rotating students attending school, what’s the plan, school meals, laptops for those in need, daycare, what’s the plan?
Do they intend to bring mental health professionals to our schools to help with all of the after-effects of COVID?
Should the federal government develop a national standard for police use of force?
When will we have civilians on the police review committee?
Civility in government
The truth, not spin doctoring to encourage a vote.
Acting professionally—code of conduct (i.e.respectful of colleagues and residents), financial accountability, conflict of interest.
Civil, commonsense City Council to make decisions based on facts, not personalities.
What’s the local role in slowing global warming, drought, wildfires?
How can we as a county benefit from the climate change movement? Can we invest in jobs that are solar and wind projects? We need jobs with the future in mind.
Discuss ways to improve economic resiliency in the face of prolonged shelter-in-place conditions.
Discuss jobs with emphasis on equitable living wages; reopening our economy and restoring our standards of living in the new normal environment.
Housing for low income and homeless.
City growth: how the city will deal with the new homes and no businesses.
Talking about traffic getting into and out of Hollister during morning and evening commute hours. What are the plans?
Bring clean industry to SBC. Improve roads. Passenger rail to Gilroy.
Fix our roads (many comments)
Can we get a government leadership program going?
How they can improve transparency in decision-making?
How they plan on keeping many projects on schedule as local, state, and federal funds tighten?
How can our local leaders better engage with citizens without using social media?
Additional surveys will be published and distributed in the coming weeks. These will further explore the topics that matter to the community, ensuring readers get information that is relevant and useful.
Thank you for engaging in the democratic process and helping us shape our 2020 election coverage!
For a complete list of responses and links to surveys, please visit the Your Voice–Your Vote home page. To pose questions, comments or get involved (become a committee member, outreach partner, volunteer or event sponsor), please email us at email@example.com.