Let Your Voice Be Heard

Argus

BY CHRISTINE ROBINSON SRQ DAILY SATURDAY PERSPECTIVES EDITION SATURDAY AUG 20, 2016

This is the craziest part of the election cycle, with signs and campaign propaganda everywhere you look, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the clutter, collateral and various communications. Before it got to this point, we have had meaningful conversations that took place at two very popular Meet the Minds candidate forums this year, held by The Argus Foundation. A packed house of 165 people attended the sold-out Florida Senate candidate forum. At the luncheon, six hopeful candidates displayed their differences in approaches, preparation and views.

Frank Cirillo, former State Representative Doug Holder, Rick Levine, former County Commissioner Nora Patterson, current State Representative Ray Pilon and current State Representative Greg Steube answered questions on a variety of issues, including taxes, Enterprise Florida, transportation, education and incentives.

Over 100 attended our second candidate forum with State House District 72 candidates John Hill, Edward James III, and Alex Miller. They too answered similar questions on important issues to our community.

These successful and intimate events allowed for great discourse between the candidates and truly illustrated the desire of our community to have these deeper conversations with well thought-out policy positions. It is one of things I have always loved about Sarasota—our citizens are engaged and want to dig deeper, learn more and have continued conversations about how we can be better. Community leaders were able to meet and hear from their potential representatives with open conversations in a calm and neutral setting.

It’s these meaningful conversations that should be at the forefront, now more than ever. That’s the goal of the Argus Foundation’s Meet the Minds events. Meant to educate and stimulate, these luncheons feature informative guest speakers who discuss the important issues impacting the community, state and world, and allow the community one on one time with our elected officials and/or candidates to understand opposing viewpoints.

The Primary election is August 30, and the general election is November 8. While you might not agree with every candidate, let’s all remember that it’s an honorable cause to serve your community. We have a lot of diverse candidates to pick from this year. These individuals want to serve our community, and I am certainly thankful for their willingness to serve and applaud them for that service.   

Now is the time to finish your research, and at the end of this month and in November, exercise your most important right as a citizen and put your research into action by voting. It is one of our most precious rights. Let your voice be heard.

Christine Robinson is executive director of The Argus Foundation.

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