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Sac State, Public Library offer proposition info


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No means yes. This proposition cancels that proposition.

Figuring out exactly what a state initiative means and what it will do can be confusing. Sacramento State’s Project for an Informed Electorate has scheduled two forums to make this November’s propositions a little clearer, and joined forces with the Sacramento Public Library for one of them.

The first 2012 Initiative Explainer will be held at 3 p.m. Monday, Oct. 15, in Sacramento State’s Hinde Auditorium in the University Union.

The second forum will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17, in the Sacramento Public Library Galleria, 828 I St.

A panel of nonpartisan experts will unpack the initiatives, note the pros and cons, explain who’s behind the campaigns and their finances, and look at who’s endorsing and opposing the measures.

Panel members for the first event are Sacramento State Professor Kimberly Nalder, director of the Project for an Informed Electorate (PIE); Stacy Gordon, political science professor at the University of Nevada, Reno; and Center for California Studies Director Steve Boilard.

The panel for the second event includes Nick Robinson, head of the Institute for Governmental Studies library at UC Berkeley; Philip Ung of California Common Cause; and Nalder. A question-and-answer session will be included.

“When voters are mostly getting information on the initiatives from a barrage of confusing proposition ads, it’s hard to sort through the misleading and contradictory claims,” Nalder says. “We are trying to counter that with clear, un-spun, concise explanations of each of the initiatives.”

Holding the second forum off campus is the result of a discussion between Nalder and Library Director Rivkah Sass. The Library Galleria was chosen for its central location. It can accommodate about 250 people.

And it’s a good fit with the library’s One Book Sacramento 2012 program, which seeks to engage the community in conversation about the Constitution.

“The public library is the most democratic of American institutions, so it’s appropriate for us to partner with Sacramento State in this way to get the information in the hands of the people who need it,” Sass says.

The events are free. Participants are invited to bring their sample ballots.

PIE is an effort to develop a greater understanding of politics and government by disseminating accurate, open and nonpartisan information. It includes a website loaded with information and resources, and public events such as this one. For more information, visit For more media assistance, call Sacramento State’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156.

– Craig Koscho