PBS SoCal and KCET Head Into Election Season With ‘VOTE 2020’ Campaign Emphasizing Exploration of Past, Present and Future of our Democracy

CONTACT
JP Shields
jpshields@kcet.org
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PBS SoCal and KCET Head Into Election Season
With ‘VOTE 2020’ Campaign Emphasizing Exploration of
Past, Present and Future of our Democracy

New Edition of One-Minute Video Series from Ballot Brief ‘Props in a Minute’,
Voter Registration Partnership with ‘I am a voter.’,
Unbiased Coverage of the Election from Trusted PBS Series,
Five Locally-Produced, Topical Documentaries,
And a PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs Event
All Part of “Vote 2020” Initiative

PBS SoCal and KCET’s “Vote 2020” campaign will include FRONTLINE: The Choice 2020 – Trump vs. Biden and online voter resource BALLOT BRIEF’s “Props in a Minute” (Images courtesy of PBS SoCal and KCET).

kcet.org/vote2020 and pbssocal.org/vote2020

Burbank, Calif. – Sept. 21, 2020 – PBS SoCal and KCET, Southern California’s flagship PBS organizations for new PBS program premieres as well as award-winning original content, announced today a broad array of initiatives as part of a “VOTE 2020” campaign. With both national and locally-produced programming, online content (including the always popular “Props in a Minute” from kcet.org’s Balllot Brief digital destination) and even local events focused on this election cycle, both PBS SoCal and KCET are committed to exploring the past, present and future of democracy. A partnership has been formed this year with the nonpartisan organization I Am A Voter to highlight the civic responsibility of voting and for local residents to take part in democracy with a goal of encouraging voter registration in Southern California. An entire online hub of election related content and news articles will begin to roll out starting today at both kcet.org/vote2020 and pbssocal.org/vote2020 to serve as an easy resource for SoCal residents to feel informed and be involved with this year’s election.

NATIONAL PROGRAMMING. Both KCET and PBS SoCal will air live coverage on election night as well as PBS NewsHour‘s unbiased coverage of the debates leading up to the General Election on Nov. 3. FRONTLINE‘s critically acclaimed series “The Choice” returns TOMORROW on Tues., Sept. 22 at 9 p.m. on PBS SoCal (with encore presentations on Tues., Oct. 27 and Mon., Nov. 2), featuring interwoven investigative biographies of President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. The 2-hour special examines the defining moments that shaped their lives, their approach to power and their visions for America’s future at this pivotal juncture. A one-hour WASHINGTON WEEK “Election 2020 Special Report” moderated by Robert Costa will air on Fri., Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. on PBS SoCal sharing analysis from the country’s top political correspondents reporting on the issues driving this year’s election as well as political analysts providing polling data to explore the state of key races around the country.

LOCAL PROGRAMMING. All-new KCET Original documentaries include the September return of a new season of environmental investigative series EARTH FOCUS, concluding with the Tues., Sept. 29 KCET feature-length documentary “The New West and the Politics of the Environment” highlighting the work of Nevada’s legendary Senator Harry Reid. Four other new documentaries will roll out in October on KCET and PBS SoCal that spotlight California’s changing population, values and social movements. Anti-immigration law documentary 187: THE RISE OF THE LATINO VOTE will premiere Tues., Oct. 6 on KCET while THE FIRST ANGRY MAN which debuts Tues., Oct. 13 on KCET tackles California’s 1978 historic proposition13 that launched a tax revolt and has dramatically shaped the state’s education system and economy. The third season of CITY RISING airs Tues., Oct. 20 on KCET and will examine youth democracy as California’s young people activate their civic power to reshape systems and institutions for a better future. Finally, POWER & HEALTH will highlight the correlation of these two social Issues on Tues., Oct. 27 on KCET. Additional airdates on PBS SoCal will be announced at a later date.

ONLINE CONTENT. The new online election portals at kcet.org/vote2020 and pbssocal.org/vote2020 provide a one-stop digital voter resource where Californians can find a selection of videos, articles and explainers that break down what voters can expect to find on their election ballots this season, including a downloadable printable “cheat sheet” that explains some of the key initiatives voters can expect to vote on this season. Both online destinations will be refreshed regularly over the next few months, giving voters continuous updates on the local, state and national election issues.

One of the online highlights for local voters over the past three election seasons has been Ballot Brief’s “Props in a Minute,” a series of one-minute, impartial video explanations using animation and easy-to-understand language to help voters decipher the 12 complex propositions on the ballot this year. Emmy Award-winning newscaster Leyna Nguyen (bio below) runs voters through the key points of each proposition, utilizing fun graphics with each video concluding with what a “yes” or “no” vote will mean, providing a unique experience for viewers seeking quick information on the local ballot. This November’s propositions deal with a wide range of issues including consumer privacy, bail reform, parolee voting rights, dialysis clinics, rent control expansion and more. Each video features Spanish subtitles. Also available at kcet.org/ballotbrief is a printable “Prop Cheat Sheet” in English and Spanish that also explains what a yes or no vote means. Additionally, the latest in breaking news articles will be posted on kcet.org/vote2020 and pbssocal.org/vote2020 via City News Service that is key to informing viewers about the national election.

This year, PBS SoCal and KCET have partnered with “I am a voter.” a nonpartisan campaign that essentially acts as a one-stop location to keep Southern California viewers educated and informed. The organization is dedicated to creating a cultural shift around voting and civic engagement by unifying around a central truth: that democracy works best when all participate. Tools offered include a website that helps register and share polling place information as well as gives local, state and national election reminders. The stations’ social media platforms will encourage voter registration with “I am a voter.” while the on-air programming schedule for both KCET and PBS SoCal will feature impartial public service announcements to run regularly during the broadcast schedule.

EVENTS. PBS SoCal and KCET are also partnering with PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs and Southern California NPR station, KPCC/LAist to foster civic engagement in our region’s young people. On Thurs., October 1, these partners will bring together students from schools across Southern California for a virtual event focused on Election 2020. Students will hear from KPCC reporters about their careers and have small-group conversations around the issues that are most important to young people. According to the Pew Research Center, 1 in 10 eligible voters this election cycle will be part of Gen Z, which is around 24 million people. PBS SoCal and KCET will amplify the voices of this growing part of the electorate by sharing student-produced content on the website and social media channels. For more information on PBS SoCal and KCET’s work with high school journalists, and to view student work, please visit: https://www.pbssocal.org/education/student-reporting-labs/

There will also be a special EARTH FOCUS virtual screening premiere and Q&A session TOMORROW Tues., Sept. 22 from 4 – 5 p.m. PT, ahead of the “The New West and the Politics of the Environment” airdate on Tues. Sept. 29 at 8 p.m. PT on KCET. The event will be hosted by Tom Axtell (General Manager of Vegas PBS) and will feature panelists Juan Devis (KCET/Link TV Chief Creative Officer), Joe Ely (Stetson Engineers Director of Indian Project Development), Mauricia Baca (Get Outdoors Nevada Executive Director). The panel will be moderated by the documentary’s executive producer Jon Christensen, UCLA Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. A special introduction will be given by Nevada U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto and additional remarks from former Nevada  U. S. Senator Harry Reid. To register for the virtual event, please visit:  TheNewWest.eventbrite.com.

In past election years, KCET and PBS SoCal have been at the forefront of delivering in-depth information on key elections and political topics impacting the community, as well as online interaction and social media commentary. To learn more about the upcoming national and state of California elections, go to kcet.org/vote2020 and pbssocal.org/vote2020

Ballot Brief and Props in a Minute are presented in part by the Resnick Family Foundation.

Join the conversation on social media using #Vote2020 and #IAmAVoter

ABOUT LEYNA NGUYEN
From humble beginnings in a small village of Dong Ha, Vietnam, to breaking barriers in mainstream media, Leyna Nguyen continues to inspire others with her story of perseverance and determination. She and her family escaped their war-torn country in 1975 and resettled in Minnesota.  As a little girl, she dreamed of becoming a news reporter and despite the odds, became an award-winning journalist in the second-largest television market in the country. 26 years and 4 Emmy Awards later, Leyna made broadcast history by becoming the first newscaster to anchor the news on two stations in the same market, with the unprecedented Viacom-owned duopoly of KCBS and KCAL-TV, and was the first Vietnamese-American primetime news anchor in a major television market.

ABOUT I AM A VOTER
I am a voter.® is a nonpartisan movement that aims to create a cultural shift around voting and civic engagement by unifying around a central truth: our democracy works best when we all participate. With a mission to make voter identity mainstream, aspirational and an integral component of one’s personal identity, the organization is currently engaging with partners such as Urban Outfitters, Elizabeth Arden, Beauty Counter, NBPA, Bumble and The Great.

ABOUT KCET
KCET is on-air, online and in the community, and plays a vital role in the cultural and educational enrichment of Southern and Central California. KCET offers a wide range of award-winning local programming as well as the finest public television programs from around the world. Throughout its 54-year history, KCET has won hundreds of major awards for its local and regional news and public affairs programming, its national drama and documentary productions, its quality educational family and children’s programs, its outreach and community services and its website, kcet.org. For additional information about KCET productions, web-exclusive content, programming schedules and community events, please visit kcet.org. Select original programming from KCET is also available for streaming on Apple TV, YouTube, Amazon and Roku platforms. For more information please visit kcet.org/apps.