Welcome to our newest newsletter: “Your Voice Matters.”
In a time where political theater, candidate attacks and misleading rhetoric are making headlines, News4JAX is getting back to the basics.
You are the focus of this newsletter. You are our stakeholder in this process. You will drive the conversations and coverage this election cycle and in those still to come.
In the weeks leading up to the 2022 midterm election, and the upcoming elections to be held in the spring of 2023, News4JAX has been working hard to find out what issues are most important to you and taking your questions and concerns to candidates running for office.
It’s all part of our “Your Voice Matters” campaign. (More on our mission can be found at the bottom of this newsletter.)
When this newsletter hits your inbox in the coming weeks, it will be made up of stories where the voters and the issues are the focal points. We will do our best to avoid political drama and rumors involving candidates as well as conflicting polls and topics like how much money each candidate has raised.
Here are some examples of what we have done so far.
Issues that matter 🏠
We started by creating a poll asking Jacksonville voters: What is the most important issue for residents? Out of the four possible answers — crime, affordable housing, downtown development and growth — 61% of the more than 1,400 people who responded said crime, while 21% said affordable housing, 11% said downtown development and 7% said growth.
Next, we picked one of those topics, affordable housing, and took them to the mayoral candidates running in 2023. You can find out how all nine candidates responded here.
Voter’s Guide 🗳️
We also created a comprehensive voter’s guide so you are informed on where all the local candidates stand on key issues heading into the Nov. 8 election. As Thomas Jefferson once so eloquently said: “An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people.” So with that in mind, we packed as much information as we could into our guide so you can be prepared at the polls.
MORE HERE: NEWS4JAX VOTER’S GUIDE
Our guide begins with interactive maps to help you find your congressional, state Senate and state House districts, and we break down the rest of the races by county. We hope you take a few minutes to learn something about the candidates’ backgrounds and their views on the issues. Plus, learn about the amendments and any ballot initiatives for your county or city.
Side note: Today is the deadline to register to vote!
Listening to Georgia voters 👂
In Georgia, the race for U.S. Senate has been making headlines as numerous personal allegations have been levied against Republican candidate Herschel Walker.
But Georgia voters told News4JAX that what they refer to as “mudslinging” in the race between Walker and incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock is making it hard to talk about real issues in Georgia.
As part of our commitment to making sure Your Voice Matters, News4JAX talked to voters about everything from the opioid crisis to issues with homelessness.
Ask your questions ❓
News4JAX anchor and host of “This Week in Jacksonville” Kent Justice wants to hear from you, too. As these important elections approach, Kent plans to host candidates and influential members of the community on his weekly show that airs at 9 a.m. Sundays on News4JAX.
This week, Kent’s guest is Bob Buckhorn, the former mayor of Tampa. He plans to talk about the growth of Tampa over the past 20 years and what Jacksonville can learn from it.
So, what are your questions for Mr. Buckhorn? Click this link to share your question and Kent will pick at least one to ask.
Your Voice Matters Mission Statement 🗣️
WJXT is THE local station, and there is nothing more local than elections. When it comes to making sure our viewers and digital consumers are informed, we take that role seriously. Nothing affects the changing world more than politics and elections. Education, the environment, the economy and equal rights are driven by elections. We will not pursue stories that frame elections as a horse race, we will not focus on candidate theater, and we will not stray from the issues important to you. News4JAX election coverage will empower you as you vote and take part in the democratic process.
News4JAX is making a commitment to consistent community outreach to hear from you both digitally and in person. We will then take your input and your questions and bring them right to the candidates running for office. We will also hold the candidates accountable for their words and actions using our “Trust Index” and fact-checking. News4JAX.com will give you a ‘Voters Guide’ that will empower you with information before you head to the polls, information directly from the candidates, ballots and elected leaders. We promise all this, with a foundation of diversity, equity and inclusion in our coverage. Telling the story of the local community, everything WJXT does is with our community in mind. That’s why WJXT has been the market leader for more than 65 years.
Feel free to share your story ideas with the Your Voice Matters team by sending an email to the leaders, including Kent Justice (email@example.com), Jim Piggott (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Travis Gibson (email@example.com).