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Citizen group launches pro-levy effort in School District 833

Voters may soon see lawn signs and fliers urging support for the South Washington County Schools referendum.

A group of citizens formed a committee to advocate for passage of the district’s two levy questions and bond measure on the Nov. 5 ballot.

The citizen group is called Committee for VOTE, a name borrowed from past District 833 referendum campaigns.

The group is supportive of the referendum, but “the focus is really on trying to get people to the polls” because parents as a whole want to see the levy approved, said Winnie Williams, who is going to lead the effort with fellow Woodbury resident John Norris. Williams said they need to raise awareness because there aren’t higher-profile political races drawing people to the polls.

Williams said the group is enlisting parents to help share levy information with other parents in each school building. The group also is going to distribute yard signs and literature and is buying advertising in support of the referendum.

The citizen effort is separate from District 833 administrators’ levy information campaign, which by law cannot advocate passage or ask voters to cast their ballots a certain way.

Williams said the pro-levy group is politically diverse but working together because of a shared concern for the school district.

With the election just over a month away, Williams said the group is beginning to see that more residents are aware of the referendum.

“We’re seeing a lot more people saying, ‘I know that’s going on,’ and that’s good,” Williams said.

School officials and levy proponents said they are not aware of any groups organized to publicly oppose the levy.

Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

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