Forum Explores How Citizens Can Hold Elected Leaders Accountable

Jan. 25, 2013

The Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life at The University of Texas at Austin College of Communication, KLRU-TV, Austin PBS and KUT 90.5 FM are hosting a community conversation to explore how citizens can hold elected leaders accountable. "Why Bother? Your State Legislature, Your Voice" is the third event in the news and public dialogue series.

"Many voters assume their job is done on Election Day, but citizens need to stay engaged to hold elected leaders accountable," said Regina Lawrence, director of the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life. "Our legislators can only represent us if we make our voices heard. This event will allow people to hear directly from two of our elected leaders and will help people learn strategies for communicating with representatives."

KUT News reporter Nathan Bernier will moderate the event, which will feature state Rep. Larry Gonzales, House District 52; state Sen. Wendy Davis, Senate District 10; Bee Moorhead, executive director of Texas Impact; and community advocates.

When: 7:30-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 29 (doors open at 7 p.m.)

Where: KLRU's Studio 6A, 2504 Whitis Ave. (map)

This event is free and open to the public. RSVP here.

Background: KLRU will post a recording of the program here on Jan. 29. It also will air at 9 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 7 on KUT 90.5 and KLRU (channel 18, cable channel 9); and at 3 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 11 on KUT 90.5.

Sponsored by the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life, KLRU and KUT 90.5 FM, the "Why Bother? Engaging Texans in Democracy Today" series aims to get people talking about why Texas has one of the lowest rates of civic participation in the country, and what can be done about it.

For more information about the series and the civic engagement crisis in Central Texas, visit whybothertexas.org.

"Why Bother" will also host a conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

About the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life
Created in 2000 to respond to growing political cynicism and disaffection in the United States, the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life is named for Annette Greenfield Strauss: former Dallas mayor, community leader and philanthropist. The Institute envisions a democracy in which all citizens are informed, vote and are actively involved in improving their communities. Through nonpartisan research, education and outreach, the Institute seeks to understand and overcome obstacles to civic engagement. To learn more, visit us online at http://annettestrauss.org.

About The University of Texas at Austin College of Communication
One of the nation's foremost institutions for the study of advertising and public relations, communication sciences and disorders, communication studies, journalism and radio-TV-film, The University of Texas at Austin College of Communication is preparing students to thrive in an era of media convergence. Serving more than 4,600 undergraduate and graduate students, the College is nationally recognized for its faculty members, research and student media. For more information about the College of Communication, visit http://communication.utexas.edu.

For more information, contact: Laura Byerley, Moody College of Communication, 512 471 2182;  Regina Lawrence, School of Journalism, Moody College of Communication, 512-232-4433.