Ted Simons: The "Arizona Capitol Times" keeps its readers well informed about state politics and the legislative process. Now it's taking its show on the road. Capitol Roadshow is an effort to engage Arizonans outside of Maricopa County in state politics and the legislative process. Here with the details is Ginger Lamb, vice president and publisher of the Capitol Times. good to see you, thanks for joining us.
Ginger Lamb: Thank you.
Ted Simons: What is this Capitol Roadshow? What are we talking about here?
Ginger Lamb: We have a publication called the citizen government guide. It was getting a little tired, it has content on boards and commissions in Arizona. The title didn't reflect a lot about citizen government. I pulled together a task force from the folks at "Arizona Capitol Times" and said, what can we do to rejuvenate this and bring more dimension to it? That's sort the how the roadshow was born. We started talking about how we could put content in citizen government that’s more advocacy related; how a bill becomes a law, what to do to get engaged in the process. And just putting content like that into the publication to expand it. Then we talked about events, because we love events at Arizona news service. We talked about how we could take it on the road and the thought came up, why don't we go on a roadshow around Arizona to talk about the political process and how we can educate and engage folks in the process.
Ted Simons: The roadshow arrives in Flagstaff, let's say. I walk up to the roadshow. What do I see and hear?
Ginger Lamb: There will be registration. We will start the program at 8:30 with registration. 9:00 the welcome happens. Then we will have four panel discussions. The first discussion is how a bill becomes law. We have Joe Galley lined up from the Flagstaff chamber of commerce to lead that discussion. From there a panel discussion about if you want to be engaged in the process and reach out and talk to lawmakers, drive down the hill to the capitol to be heard on a particular issue or meet with a lawmaker, what do you do? We have a panel and we have Representative Tom Caven and Rick Travers from Nexus Consulting. We have invites out to other folks that will come back on that. We have a panel on social media. We anticipate it's going to be even bigger in next year's elections. Then we culminate with a panel the Arizona news service will run from the capitol to talk about the issues we face this year. The Russell Pearce recall, how that's going to play out next year when we come back to the capitol for the session. And then he's also going to visit other topics like redistricting and just what are some of the hotbed issues going to be next year at the capitol.
Ted Simons: So it basically is a bit of a performance in terms of panel and a bunch of folks interested in getting to ask questions, I would imagine? At the hard launch today what kinds of questions were asked?
Ginger Lamb: People reached back and said, I noticed that you're traveling North and south. What about coming east and west?
Ted Simons: They are interested in having the roadshow stop by?
Ginger Lamb: We would love to go all over the state, it's just a matter of putting everything together so we have the resources to go to those communities.
Ted Simons: As far as the panel is concerned, what kinds of folks will be on them?
Ginger Lamb: We're looking for a mix of folks involved at the capitol, that are in the communities, obviously, that they work and live in the communities that we're going into. Then we will bring some flavor in from Phoenix, obviously. But we want people engaged in those communities to lead the discussions. With help from us and our partners at centurylink.
Ted Simons: How do you measure the success of something like this? How do you know it's working?
Ginger Lamb: I think the success is really going to be measured by, you know, how many people end up subscribing to the "Arizona Capitol Times" that come to the event that say, wow, I want to know more about politics in Arizona. This really helps me get involved in the process, and it really help me make decisions that were related to what was going on at the capitol or in the elections next year.
Ted Simons: What kind of time frame are are we looking at here?
Ginger Lamb: We're going on the road September 8th in Flagstaff. Then we'll put together in the first quarter of next year, Tucson, Prescott and we'll culminate in Maricopa County. And then we'll go beyond that. I'd love to get to Lake Havasu, Yuma, and some of those other areas and then go beyond.
Ted Simons: That sounds great. Good luck on that, it sounds like a fun deal. Thanks for joining us.
Ginger Lamb: Thank you.