Anyone in Alexandria who’s been reading the paper, walking around the neighborhood, or checking their mail has seen the huge wave of political activity leading up to the June 8 democrat primary. There are thirteen democratic city council candidates, and we get six votes! It’s overwhelming to do the research and figure out who to vote for.
A group of local Alexandria women set out to help, and launched the “Liberally Social” podcast as a way to get to know candidates – like actually get to know them, socially - via zoom interviews. Over the course of a few weeks this spring, they interviewed all 13 democratic city council candidates and released the chats as 45 minute podcast episodes. The self-proclaimed “nerd fun” covers fun get-to-know-you questions like “Where’s your favorite ice cream in Alx?” and more serious political questions like “How can we reduce carbon emissions in our city?”
Sandy Marks, the group’s lead emcee and organizer, explains how it started and what the group is trying to accomplish: “The last four years have really shaken an already really informed electorate awake to the impact of not just what our leaders vote for, but who elected decision makers are as people. And with a 13-way race - just among the Democrats! - for six seats on the City Council, we knew it would take a different kind of format to really get at the heart of who these people are and what kind of Democrats they are. Now more than ever, people take their candidate choices really seriously and want to be informed — it’s just a matter of the time and energy they have to devote in this particular moment. A listen-at-your-own-pace podcast party with bite-sized episodes, hosted by the smartest Alexandrians I know seemed like a really fun and doable way for people to study up on the candidates. And it’s working—we hear from candidates and voters every day that the podcast is shaping their ballot decisions. People like to laugh and they like to be in-the-know. And we’re helping with both.”
So if you’re interested in a different way to get to know these candidates before voting, give “Liberally Social” a listen. Available everywhere you get your podcasts, like Spotify and Apple: tinyurl.com/LiberallySocialSpotify