We Asked You To Help Shape KMUW's Election Coverage. Here's What You Told Us.
This spring, we asked KMUW listeners what they want candidates running for office to talk about as they compete for votes. We narrowed your responses down to the five most asked-about topics. Here's what some of you told us, and what reporters will be asking about in their coverage of the state and local races voters get to decide in November:
COVID-19 and health care
Many responses revolved around how officials will continue to respond to the pandemic, and improve access to health care overall, "especially with so many out of work and during a pandemic," one person noted.
One respondent asked: "How would you approach the issue of equitable public health funding?"
Another wants candidates to talk about how they could expand COVID-19 testing, "because 1 to 2 weeks is far too long to wait for results."
And another wants candidates to talk about "community health especially—including reproductive health and current and future pandemics."
Racial justice, Black Lives Matter and police reform
The second-most asked-about topic was racial justice. After a year of mass demonstrations protesting police mistreatment of Black Americans, many respondents want to know how candidates will respond to calls for police reform and make the justice system more equitable.
One respondent wants candidates to address "a plan to create plans to calm racial tensions and promote increased opportunity for all Americans."
Another wrote: "We certainly must work to address the police issues festering these days. Reevaluate the big picture view of the role of local police departments. They should enforce the law, but they currently do much more than that. They also perform as social workers dealing with family problems; physical abuse, drug use, poverty... The social work might be best done by people specifically trained in such matters and offload the police."
Economic recovery and jobs
Many questions related to how candidates plan on boosting a local economy hit hard by the pandemic. "What [are] the candidates' plans for strengthening the middle class?" one respondent wrote. Another wants candidates to talk about "Local budget priorities, how to provide governmental services during COVID-19."
And another wants to hear "How to stop the pandemic, and then once it is stopped, how to restart the economy."
Climate change and the environment
"The biggest threat to our well being is getting lost in coverage of the more immediate threats of Covid-19 and racial tension," wrote one respondent.
Some responses also dealt with education, particularly in light of the pandemic and many students learning remotely this semester.
One respondent asked: "How can our state address inequality (both race-based and income-based)? Related to that, how will the state support schools in closing the gap between the 'haves' and 'have-nots' when it comes to technology & internet access, especially since there is a good chance we will be doing some non-traditional (and thus likely more technology-supported) education in the next year?"
You can find our ongoing coverage of the 2020 elections here. Is there a topic we left out? Do you have another election-related question you want reporters to look into? Let us know.