Monday, January 14, 2008

Only in SCV: How Recognizable are CC Candidates?

The upcoming City Council race isn’t weighing too heavily on the minds of very many Claritans (see figure above). As I suggested in January’s inside SCV[1], part of this apathy is based on the fact that the City Council can do only so much to affect our lives: "There will never be an 'Item 18: Public Hearing on the Death Penalty' on a City Council agenda." Still, it's a good place to start dabbling in politics. Furthermore, councilmembers are in charge of some substantial funds and resources. Wielded effectively, these resources can be used to fight multi-national corporations like CEMEX, preserve open space, and even build new bus stops(!).

The question remains, however, of just how much thought the average Claritan gives to the 2008 City Council race. While you could stop most anyone on the street and reasonably expect them to know the names of at least five candidates for President, I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a Claritan who could tell you the names of all five of the City Council candidates. Sure, campaigning hasn't really begun in earnest (except by Laurie Ender, who started campaigning about 35 years ago), but the vote is less than 90 days away. If candidates are serious about winning, they need to make themselves known to the average Claritan very soon.

To get an idea of how recognizable the various candidates are at present, we need a survey. Thus, I made a survey. It tests how well people know the names and faces of those running for Council (with a few other faces and names thrown in for good measure). I'd like a goodly number of people to take this thing, and for that, I need your help.

It’s simple, really.

1. Print up one or more copies of the survey, saved as a a .pdf file at the link below.

2. Ask any Santa Claritan registered to vote to answer the questions.

3. Repeat as many times as possible. You shouldn’t be averse to standing in front of the mall and asking strangers to do it; many people love doing this kind of thing.

4. Email me the results at iheartscv AT, except of course you make the “AT” an “@.” It can be in the form of:

Person 1: 45yo Female. (1)1.Susan Sarandon,2. Didn’t Know, 3.George Bush, etc… (2)Checked boxes A,C,D (3)Mayor Tony the Tiger, important issues are CEMEX and dog parks

5. Your deadline for this assignment is January 20, 2008.

And yes, I really do mean deadline. This is an assignment. But it's one you should be pleased to conduct. After all, it’s an investment in both your future and my own: I’ll have something to write about and you’ll have something to read given enough surveys. And through reading and writing we can both forget--at least for a moment--about the daily struggle to endure life in SCV.

Together, in short, we'll get a better idea of how well the average Claritan knows his/her potential future leaders and what that means. Incidentally, below are links to all of the candidates' campaign pages (listed in alphabetical order--I won't play favorites quite yet):

Laurie Ender

Maria Gutzeit

Bob Kellar


[1]Article here

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