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Tuesday, June 6, 2023

If you’d like to meet local Democratic primary candidates, a group called the Black Empowerment Coalition is hosting what might be your final opportunity before heading to the ballot box this month.

The group is hosting an event, which they’re calling “Meet the Candidates,” next Tuesday, June 13, at 306 East Main Street (the new location of The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative on the Downtown Mall) from 6-8 p.m. Anyone can attend and meet candidates for Charlottesville City Council, Virginia House Districts 54 and 55, and Virginia Senate District 11.

Black Empowerment Coalition to sponsor one last chat with primary candidates before Election Day

For most of these races, this primary election will likely decide who will take the seat. That’s because none of these races (aside from the 55th House District) has any Republican or Independent challengers at this point. There’s still time for that to happen, but it’s looking less and less likely.

So, if you want a say in who is representing us locally and at the state capital — you might consider voting in the Democratic primary on June 20. You don’t have to be a registered Democrat to do it. (This story includes information about how to vote at the bottom.)

Credit: Eileen Goode/Charlottesville Tomorrow

Here’s why Primary Day could be City Council Election Day in Charlottesville

If you’re on the fence about which candidates to vote for, we’re compiling information about them in our 2023 Primary Voter Guide, and there will be much more available by early next week. We’ve sent questionnaires to each City Council candidate, asking about their positions on taxations, public safety, transportation and housing. Watch for their answers!

Once the primaries are behind us, our newsroom will be turning its attention to the general election this November. But, instead of focusing just on Charlottesville and Albemarle County this year, we have decided to build a Voter Guide for all of Central Virginia. We feel this is a crucial service to offer Central Virginia voters, as many races in this area receive little to no media coverage, and finding information about the candidates can be nearly impossible.

This step is even more critical in light of an announcement from Lee Enterprises last week that it is reducing print days for several of its newspapers in central Virginia, including the Daily Progress. You can read more about the trend in this article from Cardinal News, a nonprofit news organization in southern Virginia.

I’m personally saddened by the news, as is the rest of our team. It’s difficult to watch an industry that is so important to our democracy and society decline. And it is part of what drives us to fill the gap in local news.

On that topic, if you’d like to see our editor in chief, Angilee Shah, speak about this, she’ll be presenting at the Collaborative Media Summit in Washington, D.C. tomorrow — and it will be streamed live! Angilee will join Sarad Davenport of Vinegar Hill Magazine and Charles Lewis of In My Humble Opinion to talk about Charlottesville Inclusive Media’s origins, how the partnership is seeking to change the news ecosystem of central Virginia, and the first year of First Person Charlottesville. Here’s where you can see the presentation at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, June 7.

Thanks for being here!

Jessie Higgins, managing editor

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I'm Charlottesville Tomorrow's managing editor and health and safety reporter. If there’s something you think we should be investigating, please email me at jhiggins@cvilletomorrow.org! And you can follow all the work we do by subscribing to our free newsletter! Hablo español, y quiero mantener a la comunidad hispanohablante informada. Si tienes preguntas o información que debo saber, por favor, envíame un correo electrónico a jhiggins@cvilletomorrow.org.