Osa Flory: Candidate forums can impact our vote

  • In this file photo, Osa Flory, a member of the League of Women's Voters, helps a new resident register to vote. Gazette file photo

Published: 10/17/2019 9:00:17 PM
Modified: 10/17/2019 9:00:07 PM

On Tuesday, Oct. 22, at 7 p.m. at JFK Middle School, 100 Bridge Road, Florence, we “the voters” will have an opportunity to ask questions of candidates running for School Committee in Ward 3 and at large seats, and candidates running for City Council in Wards 1, 5 and 7. If you can’t come in person, you can still be present by watching the program live on our Northampton Community T.V. station!

Due to time limitations, candidates running unopposed for City Council and School Committee will not participate in the forum.

This event is coordinated by the Northampton Area League of Women Voters and the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

When attending local candidate forums, voters are front and center, as are the candidates. We formulate our questions for the candidates to answer; then we listen to their verbal and observe nonverbal responses. We learn how each candidate defines their future job, what his/her priorities are and what skills each brings to the position.

After a recent Northampton forum, I did a mini-survey of some people who attended. Several said they had changed their votes due to the forum. Others said they had made up their minds prior to the forum and the program reconfirmed their opinions.

Additional comments included: “Being there was very important and valuable. It was an opportunity for ‘my take’ rather than the media’s interpretation. The wide ranging questions were so useful. I could hear candidate’s commitment to certain things.”

“I am new to the area and not familiar with the candidates. The forum was very helpful.”

We are in a very active political time, we are a diverse population and our questions will reflect this. Together, we will become informed voters.

Osa Flory


The writer is a member of the Northampton Area League of Women Voters.

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