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Fully informed at Fox Run

Politically-minded neighbors start political awareness group

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September 25th, 2012

George Fulkerson, who spent his career as an attorney, has long had an interest in politics. In fact, many years ago, he threw his own hat into the political ring. In 1960, he was the Democratic nominee for prosecuting attorney, and in 1962, he ran for the U.S. Congress. About six years ago, George retired from his law practice, although he still does a bit of work for former clients and their families. Around the same time, George moved to Fox Run, an Erickson Living community in Novi, Mich. At his new home, George found many friends and neighbors who share his interest in politics.

Sounding board for candidates

Fox Run has long hosted candidates for elected office, who come to speak to residents during their campaigns. Recently, Fox Run community members decided to formalize their involvement with politics by forming a resident-run political awareness committee. With his background in law and politics, and interest in current affairs, George says the newly-formed club piqued his interest. When I saw they were going to form a political awareness committee, I was all for it, he says. There are currently nine members on the committee, which meets at least twice monthly, and as needed when planning special events. George says Democrats and Republicans are represented equally on the committee, and there is a non-voting member who serves as a liaison to a larger resident-run committee that works with staff to organize all on-campus clubs and activities. George says the mission of the political awareness committee isn t to espouse a certain set of views, but rather to provide residents with the information they need to be informed voters. The whole purpose of our group is that whatever we promote, we want it to be even-handed, he says. If there is a Democratic and a Republican candidate, we will ask them both to come here to speak. We want the people here at Fox Run to be fully informed about election issues and candidates.

Raising awareness, informing voters

To that end, the political awareness committee was planning to host debates for candidates running for both the U.S. House of Representative and the U.S. Senate. After each of the debates, George says dessert would be served and residents would have an opportunity to meet the candidates. The group also has organized a forum to take place in October to educate residents about a number of ballot measures that will be voted on during this upcoming election season. George says the committee has invited a political science professor from Eastern Michigan University to discuss the merits and criticisms of each of the proposed ballot measures. Those ballot proposals require a lot of knowledge about whether or not you should be supporting them, and the number of places you can get that information is scarce, George says. There will be so few instances like this where voters will be given the opportunity to listen to both sides of the issues.

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