This election season, the BHBA and the Barristers proudly join the National Association of Women Judges in supporting the Informed Voters Project . The IVP is a non-partisan civic education initiative that increases citizen awareness about the process of voting for judges in an election. The IVP does not endorse any particular candidate; the goal is to educate citizens about why they should care about an informed vote for any judge.
The problem: in the last election approximately 50% of Californians voted. Of that 50%, only about 12% voted for judges. That means not only that a small minority of people determine who sits or stays on the California bench, but also that special interests have a disproportionately strong voice in who wins a judicial election.
What you can do: As a member of BHBA, you have access to prepared presentation materials, op-eds and letters to the editor, and social media & blog posts with links to articles and videos. Here’s how you can get involved (from least to most intensive):
1. Incorporate IVP materials on your website/blog/linkedin/facebook/twitter: IVP has prepared a short video featuring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor discussing the importance of voting for judges. They also prepared materials ready to be posted immediately. Leverage your connections to immediately spark people’s interest.
2. Submit an Op-Ed or Letter to the Editor: IVP has templates for both; the templates are ready-to-use. This is a fantastic way to get the message out with your name attached as a concerned citizen.
3. Make community presentations: Attend a short, 45-minute webinar instruction session and take an IVP-prepared power point presentation out to wherever the community gathers. A few suggestions:
- PTA Meetings;
- Homeowners’ association meetings;
- Rotary meetings;
- Kiwanis meetings;
- Provisors meetings;
- Law firm meetings;
- Chambers of commerce meetings;
- Wherever groups of people meet!
Not only will you be doing a service to this state, but you will also be holding yourself out to your community as a person who is actively involved in addressing serious community issues. Rarely are we afforded such an opportunity to engage directly and leverage such support to get a message out!
If you are interested: Please contact Brian Smith firstname.lastname@example.org with your level of interest, and we will respond with the appropriate instructions and materials. Once you have participated, please get back to us and let us know how it went so you may be credited with the work you’ve done.
Together, we can use this opportunity to make a real, lasting difference in our community.