Microsoft, Cerrell Associates, Others Partner for Forums With 2013 Mayoral Candidates

"Talking About Los Angeles" will bring six issue-driven conversations with the candidates to L.A. college and university campuses. There will also be a large social media component.

Some key Los Angeles players are pulling together to help the city get ready to vote for our next mayor.

Slated for March 5, 2013, the stand-alone election  will capture national attention, noted Dan Schnur, who directs the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at USC.

Schnur was speaking at the kickoff event Tuesday morning for Talking About Los Angeles (TALA),  a series of conversations with the 2013 mayoral candidates on college and university campuses.

So far Jan Perry and Austin Beutner have confirmed, with Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel also indicating they would like to participate.

The event is being organized by the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project (SVREP), http://svrep.org/,  a leading Latino voter participation organization founded in 1974, and Cerrell Associates, a L.A. political consulting firm founded in 1966.

According to the organizers, each moderated conversation will focus on a specific issue, allowing for more than “sound bites or clever debate.”

Targetted issues include transportation, the environment, education and workforce development and the business environment as well as a special “Envisioning L.A.” discussion.

Moderators will be experts in these issues. Organizers are hope to hold the first event in February.

California State Northridge, Harbor College, UCLA, Occidental College and USC  are among the venues being considered.

“Social media will also be a big component,” said Lisa Gritzner, President of Cerrell Associates, with the project website to host a blog tracking the candidates.

See project website here.

Time Warner is expected to broadcast the events.

Microsoft is lead sponsor, with Time Warner Cable and FAST: Fixing Angelenos Stuck in Traffic also contributing.

See our interview with Russel Buetow, Southern California Director, State & Local Government, for Microsoft about the firm's government initiatives in the attached media gallery.


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