Citizens' Agenda: Finding Common Purpose in Partnerships
Back in December, the Register introduced our audience to a voter-focused election project we refer to as "Citizens Agenda."
The New Haven Register, along with its sister papers in other parts of Connecticut, the Middletown Press, Register Citizen in Torrington and Litchfield County Times have been polling our readers about the issues that matter most to you, so we can have candidates in Senate and Congressional races address them during the 2012 election cycle.
On Friday, my colleague Ed Stannard - also a community engagement editor for the Register - and I went to The Grove and attended a meeting of the New Haven Votes Coalition, a diverse group working on voter education, registration and overall voter participation in the nation's democratic electoral process.
As we partner with voters to determine the top issues we will cover, other alliances are developing along the way. The League of Women Voters of Connecticut sent a representative, Jean Rabinow, to our first public forum at the New Haven Free Public Library held Jan. 25.
The next one will be 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Margaret Egan Center, 35 Matthew St., Milford.
We look forward to the League's continued involvement and now, the participation of New Haven Votes Coalition as well. But we also will be lending our resources in ways we had not anticipated when Citizens' Agenda began. The coalition brought our attention to additional ways we jointly can reach disenfranchised communities and how the Register can lend its resources to spreading the word about voter eligibility and other matters, as well as upcoming activities designed to encourage registration and voting during primaries and on Election Day.
As much we designed Citizens' Agenda to be a public service, we are being helped in this project by our audience and civic groups such as the League of Women Voters and New Haven Votes Coalition.
We thank all of you and invite you to our next forum to continue our discussion about your concerns. Poll respondents have identified the economy as the most important issue to date, followed by the unemployment rate, taxation, national debt, health care form and financial industry/banking reform. Attendees at our New Haven forum raised concerns about corporate influence in politics, the media's neglect of lesser-known candidates and the platforms of smaller parties such as the Green Party and Libertarians and how the government will redirect finances previously committed to the war in Iraq.
Thanks to a member of New Haven Votes, we now have contact information for the Working Families Party.
We hope you will chime in by taking our poll, attending the forum Wednesday, commenting on this blog and by all means, come Nov. 6, 2012 - get out and vote!
You may also send questions and ideas to Ed and I at firstname.lastname@example.org.