Get educated and get involved; know your facts for the upcoming election (opinion)
Tribune Opinion Columnist
The South Shore is quickly approaching one of the more pivotal moments in our community’s history. We are less than six months away from Election Day in November, which means that we are just around the corner from the political season and all the mudslinging that comes along with it. With that being said, it is our role as the voting public to become as informed as possible on the issues that are currently facing our community and act accordingly at the voting booth.
It is absolutely imperative that we as voters become educated on the candidates and community issues in the upcoming election because they will shape the future of Tahoe’s South Shore. Seats that are open on South Lake Tahoe’s City Council and the Douglas County Board of Commissioners will take on issues that will dramatically impact our property values, way of life and how we do business in our community. By doing our homework, we can ensure that the future of our community is on the right track. There is only one way to get educated on the issues, and that is by actually getting involved in the process.
Two weeks ago I attended the Douglas County Commissioners Candidate Forum in Stateline and although it was a capacity crowd, I was shocked and disappointed to see that I was the only person under the age of 40 in the audience. If young professionals want to have any say in the future of this community, the time to get involved is now. Ask local politicians questions, attend city council meetings, and make sure that you know what the issues are. If we want to transform the South Shore into a place where we want to plant our roots and raise our families, then we need to start now.
In terms of the Loop Road initiative, ask questions! Learn how the funds can only be spent in a specific way. Learn about the plans for new low-income housing and the stipends that the displaced families will be receiving. This is a game changer for our community and we need to be informed; don’t let the individuals that are collecting signatures in front of Grocery Outlet to bring the Loop Road to a vote be your source of information, because they are blatantly misleading people. It is fine that they are collecting signatures for their cause; just don’t misconstrue the facts to the public.
We have such a unique opportunity to create a voice in this upcoming election and we need to take advantage of it. As the tourism industry becomes more and more competitive, we need to find creative ways to draw not just tourists to our town, but also full-time residents and companies that will create jobs. By becoming more educated on the issues and more involved in the process, we can take ownership of our community and work together to create a South Shore of the future that we can all be proud of.
Justin Sinner is a member of the 2016 Leadership Lake Tahoe Program.