With an incredible year of discussion surrounding inclusive and just democracy — what it looks like when we do and do not have it, and what we must do to create it — this is going to be an interesting election season ripe with new opportunities to engage our communities in meaningful conversation.
“What do you STAND for?” is a candidate questionnaire created by and for small town Oregonians to bring these conversations to the forefront of this election season. Use “What do you STAND for?” to get candidates on record and to equip the audience with tools for critical thinking and model questions to get to the heart of the matter.
Check out the entire “What do you STAND for?” Candidate Questionnaire here (peek at the questions below!) and let ROP know what conversations it sparks in your community!
A Healthy Democracy
Do you believe that we need to get big business and corporate money out of politics? Would you take a pledge to get money out of politics by 2014? If elected, what concrete actions will you take?
Strong, Inclusive and Safe Communities
Do you think it is important to make our community a place that welcomes and protects immigrants who are living in our communities? Would you support a resolution that pledges to welcome all people, including immigrants and other minorities?
A Healthy Economy and Standard of Living
The number of people living under the poverty line is growing. Do you think it is important to protect and preserve our social safety net from efforts to privatize or further defund? What solutions do you have for the growing poor?
So many of us are now dealing with crippling debt — whether as students, credit card debt or foreclosure. What strategies do you believe are necessary to address and relieve debt for people?
Would you support a moratorium on foreclosures? What solutions do you have for the growing number of families facing foreclosure?
Do you support the creation of an Oregon State Bank as an alternative to depositing public monies in too-big-to-fail banks? What ideas do you have for keeping Oregonians wealth working for the benefit of Oregonians?
Do you think it is a priority to make sure every man, woman and child have access to healthcare, and if so what is the path to achieve that? How do you feel about bringing Universal Healthcare to Oregon?
What do you see as the cause of our current economic crisis? What projects will you pursue to restore economic vitality to this community while preserving our resources and way of life?
Decide for yourself! These are suggested questions to ask candidates. Use these verbatim or as a guide to write your own. The most reliable way to chose a candidate is also the best way to keep that person accountable when in office: decide the issues important to you, make a list of questions, then do what you can to find out where the candidate stands – go to candidate forums, call up campaign offices and write letters to the editor. When evaluating the response you get, ask yourself whether this person has the traits it takes to win your vote:
- Does this person share my values and priorities?
- Do they use critical thinking to address new questions (or canned talking points)?
- Are they willing to be bold and offer real solutions?
- Do they have integrity in being truthful and being open to new ideas?
- Is this person accessible – do they stand for constituents or for outside interests or ideology?