NORTH BAY -- Three North Bay organizations have seed-funded the formation of a Jobs & Prosperity Project to educate voters on local candidates and their support of job creation.
Successfully implemented on a state-wide level in 40 states, mostly by state chambers of commerce, it would be the first local version of the program, according to Cynthia Murray, president and CEO of the North Bay Leadership Council.
The Leadership Council, the North Coast Builders Exchange and the Sonoma County Alliance have each put in $10,000 to design a website -- up sometime this month -- and hire a project coordinator.
Members of the three organizations will be listening to a kickoff presentation Tuesday. Then the project will seek additional support from other concerned organizations.
"This effort has three drivers," said Ms. Murray. "Number one, there are lots of people who don't realize how elected officials influence the creation of jobs, their jobs, so they don't register or number two, they don’t vote. And number three, they often vote without a clear idea of a candidate's stand on job creation."
The Jobs & Prosperity Project is completely non-partisan, non-endorsing and non-judgmental, she stressed.
"We want to help people get registered and become educated. We don’t want to tell people how to vote."
Candidates for city councils and the board of supervisors will be asked how they stand on issues like airport expansion, incentives to businesses to locate here, funding for convention bureaus or deferring fees to stimulate building.
Their answers will be recorded on the website. Between elections, officials' voting records will be kept on the site as well.
The three founding agencies have hired Terry Darcy to coordinate the project. She is a former city manager of Cotati and a long-time volunteer for and this year's president of the Rose Parade board of directors.
"Terry is perfect for this position," said Keith Woods, North Coast Builders' Exchange CEO, in a story in the organization's newsletter.
"She understands the need for new jobs in our community, has great technical skills and has great rapport with people."