So, what do you think?
Each time an election day approaches, political pollsters interrupt your dinner, national reporters embed coffee crowds at small-town diners and pundits read bumper stickers like they are tea leaves.
This time, The Meridian Star plans to take a different approach, starting early locally, as we embark on a three-year journey toward election day in 2020.
Our hope is you will invite us into your home, onto your front porch or into your workplace – wherever you feel most comfortable – so we can listen as you tell us about issues that matter most to you.
No matter your political ideology, gender, race, religion or economic status, no matter whether you live in the city or in the country, we would like to listen to your concerns and help amplify your voice as candidates ask for your trust to shape policies locally, in Jackson and in Washington.
We’d like to know if you’re satisfied with your representatives and the action they take or whether you have ideas about how they can do better.
While national media and political operatives parachute into small communities and rural areas such as Meridian and East Mississippi, we work and live here and we would like to do better at understanding what motivates you to go to the polls — or forfeit your vote.
Over the next three years, we are committed to listening to your opinions through our Pulse of the Voters project.
We are also part of a larger group of CNHI news sites with locations in around 100 similar-sized communities from Florida to Iowa, from New Hampshire to Texas. Our colleagues’ reporting will help provide some context about the mood across the country.
At the local level, we will conduct grassroots interviews in an environment where you feel comfortable and report on the opinions of local voters four times each year through 2018.
On a larger scale, The Meridian Star and other CNHI news organizations will share our notes with each other and produce national and regional reports so voters may see how their opinions compare to voters in places such as Alabama, Florida, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.
Look for our first report around the end of March.
The Star’s government accountability reporter, Jim Brock, is the lead reporter on this project and he is looking forward to having a conversation with you and other voters around the region.
Jim will be out in the community seeking your ideas. If you are interested in being part of the conversation, you also may email Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 601-485-1275 to schedule a visit.
We look forward to hearing what you have to say.
So, what do you think?
Dave Bohrer is editor of The Meridian Star. Email email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @DA_Bohrer.