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Vote like democracy depends on it—because it does. 

Good afternoon. 

In this election year that is like no other, the president of the United States of America is refusing to commit to a peaceful transfer of power and questioning the integrity of the election system that forms the basis of our democracy. It feels like the entire system is teetering on the precipice.

If there’s a bright light in these dark times, it’s the huge volume of candidates for local office who are getting involved. There’s little glory to be had in serving on a water board or a school board, but dozens of your neighbors are stepping up to do it. We commend them, and even if we don’t agree with all their ideas for how to make their community thrive, we think their hearts are in the right place. The same cannot be said for President Donald Trump.

Our endorsement process normally entails inviting candidates into our Seaside headquarters where we gather around a conference room table. This year, it involved a lot of hours on the screen with dozens of candidates in Zoom interviews—47 candidates in all—and some interviews conducted via email questionnaire, resulting in 122 pages of written responses. We also consider the past records of the candidates in our deliberations.

One especially inspiring story that stands out this year is that of Chaps Poduri, who after 19 years living in the United States, became a U.S. citizen in 2019. This is the first American election he can vote in. And not only will he be voting, he’ll be running for office, seeking a seat on the Pacific Grove City Council. (You can read more about him in our endorsement package, today’s cover story.

There is a lot of cynicism out there regarding the 2020 election. Poduri’s optimism about the American ideal is sincere, and a bit infectious.

Our endorsements are for the candidates we think are best equipped to take Monterey County, the state and the nation forward. Whether or not you agree with our suggestions, we hope—no, we insist—you vote. And encourage a friend or neighbor to vote too. 

-Monterey County Weekly editorial board (Founder & CEO Bradley Zeve, Publisher Erik Cushman, Editor Sara Rubin and Managing Editor Mary Duan)

Founding Editor & CEO of the Weekly, September 1988. Bradley serves as the Free Speech Chair on the board of the national Association of Alternative Newsmedia.

Sara Rubin loves long public meetings, red pens and reading (on newsprint). She has been editor of the Monterey County Weekly since 2016, and has been on staff since 2010.

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