October 30, 2012 > Letter to the Editor: Research candidate voting records
Letter to the Editor: Research candidate voting records
The stakes have never been as high as they are THIS ELECTION for the residents of Fremont. Our city is at a major crossroad in its history. There are so many key land decisions that will be made over the next four years that we, as the people that live in this great city, must go to extra lengths to educate ourselves on the candidates. Did you know that major decisions will be made on the Downtown Project, the Irvington Bart Station, 800 acres in Warm Springs near Tesla, Centerville Theater, and even the possibility of a new Performing Arts Center? Literally the future of Fremont is in OUR hands today.
We have all been inundated with well- crafted messages but our role in this democratic process is to look deeper and see through the multitude of signage, propaganda and possible "strings attached" endorsements. We have to do more than put a check mark next to a name that we've seen lots of signs for, seen a TV commercial for or even possibly, just happen to be from your same ethnic background. Never have the stakes been this high and never has it been more important to have the right leaders at the helm. We absolutely must do more this year. Simply reading a candidate's statement, perusing mailers or website materials is not enough. As we all know, each candidate has the ability to hire a PR person and can easily craft a message that they think you want to hear.
So, what is the average voter supposed to do to make an informed decision? Probably one of the best ways to educate yourself is to watch a video online from one of the recent forums. The League of Women Voters has all their forums available online (http://www.lwvfnuc.org/public/index.shtml). These forums are very revealing as candidates have to think on their feet and respond to audience questions. Although candidates still try to echo the messages touted on their websites you are definitely able to get a sense of who they are as a person and how effective they could be at leading a diverse city of 220,000 people.
Another option is to look at some important political decisions made this past year. These votes can tell you a lot about a candidate's priorities and perspective. Specifically, an unprecedented and historic decision was made this past July. The Protect Fremont Open Space Initiative of 2012 team collected nearly 10,000 signatures from Fremont voters within 7 weeks. On July 17th, our City Council voted and in a narrow 3-2 decision voted to adopt the initiative outright instead of having it placed on the November ballot. The importance of preserving open space for the residents of Fremont was heard loud and clear... by some. The vote was not unanimous. Out of the three City Council members who voted to adopt [Mayor Gus Morrison, Dominic Dutra, Anu Natarajan], only one will remain in office after the election; two who voted to adopt (Gus Morrison and Dominic Dutra) are not running for office.
Please educate yourself on all the candidates and research their voting records. It is upon us, the citizens of Fremont, to select the right leaders to bring Fremont forward.