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Know Your RCA: Candidate Forums

It's election season! RCA wants to make sure you're up to speed on all the candidates for political office in Reston.

As you know if you've been studying lately, election time is just around the corner.  Thanks to Virginia's tradition of holding elections for state and local offices in odd-numbered years, every year is an election year here.  But since we're all busy, and there are a lot of offices and candidates to consider, you might be worried that you don't know enough to make an informed decision.

Fear not!  RCA has you covered.  In partnership with Reston Impact (a local public affairs TV show hosted by former RCA president and fellow Patch blogger ), we are presenting a series of candidate forums that will allow you to get to know more about the candidate who want to represent the people of Reston. This is the 13th year that RCA and Reston Impact have hosted the forums, and we have done nearly 30 televised forums in that time.

RCA has been happy to work with John and Reston Impact to present these forums throughout the years as a service to our community.  We believe that any candidate for office in Reston should have to speak to the issues that are of interest to our community, and that the citizens of Reston should have an opportunity to get to know the people who wish to serve them.

The forum format, developed by John, has been praised by viewers and candidates alike.  We don't want the candidates to stand up there and spout platitudes; we want them to give real answers to questions that matter.  The questions at our forums are asked by a panel of journalists from local publications (including Patch).  These journalists have been following the campaign and talking to the voters, and they know about the issues that matter to Restonians.  We encourage the journalists to ask tough questions; no softballs in our forums.

In addition, we give the candidates an opportunity to ask one question apiece of each other.  A lot of times, even in debates, the candidates wind up talking past each other; this gives them an opportunity to question each other directly.  In some campaigns, this is the only opporunity that the candidates really have to go head-to-head.

This year, RCA is hosting three candidate forums.  The races in question are the Hunter Mill School Board seat (where is running against ), the 36th District Delegate seat (where Del. is squaring off against ), and the 32nd District State Senate seat (where Sen. is facing ). 

All three forums will be broadcast on Comcast Channel 28. The School Board forum will first air on Sunday, Oct. 9 at 8 p.m.  The Delegate forum will first air on Wednesday, Oct. 12 at 8:30 p.m.  We don't have an initial airdate for the State Senate forum yet; I'll let you know when it's set.  All three forums will be re-broadcast several times, so even if you miss the first airing, you'll still have a chance to catch them before the election.

Don't have Comcast?  No problem; you can find the forums online on the Channel 28 website.

So if you want to get to know about the people running to represent you in our government, or if you want to know where the candidates stand on your key issue, or if you just can't get enough of seeing my face, tune in and check out our candidate forums.  They're just one more example of how RCA is serving the people of Reston.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Rod's Sharpening Service October 07, 2011 at 11:40 AM
Thank you Colin. In addition to the School Board race, the 36th District Delegate race election and the 32'nd District State Senate seat election we currently have the Reston Community Center Board of Governors election. All citizens of the Fifth Tax district should of receive a ballot in the mail for this election which is over October 15. Citizens can vote in person at Reston Community Center or mail in or on line. Call Reston Community Center if you have never received a Ballot or lost it at 703-476-4500. I along with six other candidates are running this year so I hope everyone votes. This is the first or second year that the ballot has been mailed out and previously only a small fraction of citizens actually knew about the election and only voted. There were some board seats that were held that only 200 people voted. The RCC board oversees millions of dollars collected in the Fifth Tax District. Most citizens of Reston pay the tax when they pay their mortgage and don't even know it. I haven't seen any signs up for this election although one candidate who has previously run for the office used to put up little yellow ones.
Colin Mills October 12, 2011 at 02:58 PM
Thanks for this, Rod! Voting in community elections is just as important as voting in state and national elections. If you haven't filled out your RCC ballot yet, get to it!
Colin Mills October 12, 2011 at 03:04 PM
An update on the broadcast schedule for the community forums on Comcast Channel 28: The Delegate forum will be broadcast on Sunday, October 16th at 8:00 PM. The School Board forum will be broadcast on Tuesday, October 18th at 10 PM. The State Senate forum will be broadcast on Wednesday, October 19th at 8:30 PM and Sunday, October 23rd at 8:00 PM. All three forums are also available for viewing on the Channel 28 website and www.rctv28.com.

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