Today, the JFP launched a series of interviews and other coverage of the 2013 mayoral race in Jackson. (Council coverage is coming soon.) Ongoing mayoral race coverage will appear at jfp.ms/mayorsrace. Right now the link goes to the first interview, with Jonathan Lee, which is linked below as well. But it will change shortly to a special mayoral coverage page with interviews, story links, video, audio and much more that we will collect as the campaign progresses (you can send us stuff, too, and post on your own blog entries).
Now, though, what we want to know is what questions you want our reporters to ask the candidates for mayor? Please make these open-ended (not yes-or-not, or leading "don't you think...?") kinds of questions and serious ones (that don't include unsubstantiated allegations or personal attacks). We will attempt to ask all candidates your questions, and you can also suggest questions for particular candidates. (If you have something you want us to look into that must be factchecked or substantiated, please email it directly to firstname.lastname@example.org). We are also checking factual statements that the candidates make and will include any corrections; we ask you to let us know if we miss anything.
We encourage a higher level of dialogue in this election than we usually see in Jackson elections, and will use the JFP site and paper, as well as public forums, to do what we can to make that happen. We need your help, though, so please let us know your serious thoughts (and disclose if you are connected to a campaign, or who you know who is). All of this is vital information for voters.
So let's get started. Following is a question we just got on Twitter for Jonathan Lee, which inspired me to do this blog post now. We will ask Mr. Lee to answer this question and add it to the bottom of his JFP interview. Note that the question was asked in an accusatory yes-or-no fashion that adds nothing to the dialogue. I will post it in its original form and then change it into a real interview question as an example of how we can all work together to do this well:
Why no question about J Lee's position on sales tax bill for infrastructure improvements?
Better question: Please ask Mr. Lee his position onthe sales tax bill for infrastructure improvements.
Oh, and we also welcome any of the candidates to come on the site and answer themselves!
Let the campaign, and respectful dialogue, begin.