This is the
second article that highlights Smart Voter Leagues and their
members in innovative efforts to inform and involve voters.
The first article was about the Bakersfield League and their
work with the Kern County officials to produce a "Get
Out the Vote" video.
Today we doff our hats to the Humboldt
County League for presenting the candidates for
the Yurok tribal chair and vice-chair in two live,
call-in forums on their local PBS station, KEET-TV,
Channel 13, Eureka. (For the uninitiated, Humboldt County
is redwood country in the Northwestern part of the state.)
All three candidates in each of the contests appeared and
participated in the forums. The viewing audience for the
first forum heard 19 of their phoned-in questions answered
in an hour. At the second forum, 14 questions were addressed.
Lorey Keele, president of the Humboldt County League, said,
"There was feedback from the public about how good
it was to have a forum for the Tribe and that the quality
of the forum was very high."
According to Carol Masterson, the League's Voter Service
Director, "The candidates from the Yurok Tribe were
pleased as was the Tribe's elections department." The
forum for tribal chair made page two in the Times-Standard
the following day.
There are 4,307 members of the Yurok Tribe, 2101 of whom
are voting members. The incumbent tribal chair, and a candidate
for re-election, is Susan Masten, who also serves as President
of the Congress of American Indians.
The primary election will take place on October 11. If neither
race yields a majority vote for one candidate, a runoff
election will take place on November 8.
All of us are proud of the Humboldt League for the many
candidate forums they hold using TV as their medium, this
time adding two more to their already heavily-committed