Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Women's group to host forum

By Patrick Crowley
Enquirer staff writer

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS - Northern Kentucky statehouse candidates who have been sparring from afar will soon be meeting face-to-face.

Kentucky Women in Action, a relatively new political group, is hosting an Aug. 11 candidates' forum at 6:30 p.m. in Greaves Hall at Northern Kentucky University.

Candidates in two hotly contested statehouse races have been invited to attend:

• The 23rd District state Senate race between Republican incumbent Jack Westwood of Crescent Springs and Fort Mitchell Democrat Kathy Groob. The district covers Covington, Erlanger, Edgewood, Elsmere, Fort Wright, Crescent Springs, Villa Hills Bromley, Ludlow, Park Hills and Fort Mitchell.

• The 67th House District race between Republican Mark Hayden and Democrat Dennis Keene. Both are from Wilder. The district covers Newport, Dayton, Bellevue, Southgate, Wilder and part of Highland Heights.

"Participation in the political process is one of the most direct routes to influencing policy," said Diane Brumback, president and founder of the nonpartisan KWA.

Brumback said she hopes candidates take the opportunity "to showcase their views on the issues women care most about - violence, the pay gap, education and economic security."

"Women's voices are essential to good government," she said, "not necessarily because we are more caring or more effective, but because we bring another dimension to the political process."

The candidates will take questions from reporters. The "Your Issues, Your Voice in Frankfort" forum is free and open to the public.

Audience members will be invited to submit questions to the candidates.

Brumback said she would urge the candidates to make an effort to appeal to women ages 18 to 35.

"I have found that these women are not only politically untapped, the sheer volume of them who are not registered represent the potential to change the face of Kentucky politics for years to come," she said. "This group will be most responsive to candidates' positions on education, economic growth, health care and the environment."

Members were assisted in organizing the forum by the Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement at NKU.


E-mail pcrowley@enquirer.com

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