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California Initiative Explainer

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Published on Oct 23, 2012

Figuring out exactly what a state initiative means and what it would do can be confusing. Sacramento State's Project for an Informed Electorate scheduled two forums to make the propositions on the Nov. 6, 2012, ballot a little clearer.

This first 2012 Initiative Explainer was held at 3 p.m. Monday, Oct. 15, in Sacramento State's Hinde Auditorium in the University Union.

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

A panel of nonpartisan experts unpacked the initiatives, noted the pros and cons, explained who's behind the campaigns and their finances, and looked at who's endorsing and opposing the measures.

Panel members for the first event were 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 included 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."

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 www.csus.edu/ssis/pie.

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