Our small League hosted a BIG event April 5th at the Hillsboro Civic Center.
The goal was for voters to come and meet and hear from many of the Washington County area candidates who will be on their ballots this May, all in one place.
We also invited local civic organizations, nonprofits and community groups to have informational tables. In all about 20 organizations attended the community fair, and all but one candidate showed up to the forum.
We got a lot of positive feedback. One attendee, Erika Lopez, who is a Hillsboro School District Board member and parent, said every election cycle should feature events like this, where candidates for a variety of races and representatives seeking ballot-measure approval are in the same room, making it convenient for voters, and helping connect those seeking public office to the public at large.
We couldn’t agree more!
Candidates featured at the forum included Lynn Peterson for Metro Council President; Dana Carstensen and Juan Carlos Gonzalez for Metro Council District 4, Greg Malinowski and Pam Treece for county Commissioner District 2; Kimberly Culbertson and Jerry Willey for county Commissioner District 4; and Ryan Deckert, Kathryn Harrington, Bob Terry and Shabba Woodley for County Commission Chair. Michael Langley, who has filed to run for Metro President, had indicated he would attend, but did not show.
The Q&A portion of the night was hosted by Washington County Public Affairs Forum President Rob Solomon, and featured questions developed by the hosting organizations’ members beforehand. Candidates were asked about their stance on sanctuary communities, Gain Share, affordable housing and growth, recycling and solid waste, farming, healthcare, community participation, homelessness, and, for the County Chair candidates, how they intend to run the Commission.
This forum may have been the first of its kind in Washington County this time around, but if it’s up to us, it won’t be the last. Along with the League of United Latin American Citizens and the Forum, the League of Women Voters aims to educate voters, encourage voter turnout and promote civic discourse. Look for more candidate forums and fairs in the future, and become a part of making it happen by becoming a member!
If you couldn’t make it to the event, you can still watch it on TV and online thanks to Tualatin Valley Community TV. Click here to watch on YouTube or tune to Channel 30 from April 7-21. You can also peruse the county’s Election Pamphlet online anytime to read about candidates’ stances and priorities.
The deadline to register to vote or change party affiliation in order to vote in the May 15 Primary Election is April 24. You can register online here or, if you are already registered, you can go here. Non affiliated voters can only vote in the Primary for the Independent Party this year. To do so fill out this form and return it to your county’s election office by the close of business April 24.
The League looks forward to hosting more opportunities for voters to learn about our local government, how to get involved and help connect them to the elected officials who represent them.