Forum aims to encourage candidates for office

Sunday, February 25, 2018

GREENFIELD The League of Women Voters of Franklin County is planning a March 4 forum to encourage candidates in the upcoming election season.

“Run for Something! A Forum on Public Service” will be held at 2 p.m. at 170 Main St.

Panelists include Charlemont Selectboard member and Rural Commonwealth Co-Director Beth Bandy; Greenfield Town Council Vice Chair Penny Ricketts; and former Greenfield School Committee member Francia Wisnewski, who chairs the Hampshire-Franklin Commission on the Status of Women and Girls.

“We’ll discuss practicalities, the nuts and bolts of running for office,” said league President Marie Gauthier. “But we also want to highlight the other opportunities to serve that exist, and encourage people to seek them out.”

She said the league is “all about actively participating in democracy, not only through voting, but by taking part” by seeking office. While there are efforts to attract women to running for higher office, she said, this forum, like ones being offered by other league branches, is aimed at providing information to anyone interested in serving at any level.

“There are so many open seats for positions that are volunteer driven,” she said, and this free, and open-to-the-public forum is geared to conveying that ordinary citizens are “completely capable of taking these things on.”

The League of Women Voters of Franklin County Member-at-Large Unit, organized last year, is a nonpartisan grassroots political organization that encourages informed and active participation of citizens in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. The league works to provide objective information on critical public policy issues and to conduct debates and forums.