'Hurst Civic Institute hosts judicial forum

On Monday night in Taylor Little Theatre Mercyhurst University hosted Republican judicial candidates Bill Kelly Jr. and Robert Sambroak Jr. for an open discussion with students.

Both candidates will be running for a seat on the Erie County Court of Common Pleas.

The event was sponsored by the Mercyhurst University Civic Institute whose mission includes promoting “awareness and data-driven practices within the community,” according to its director, Amy Eisert.

Eisert said that the public forum was held at Mercyhurst due to the Institute and the school’s “responsibility to promote engagement in the election and voting process” as well as “civic engagement among the students that attend Mercyhurst.”

Another important aspect of the forum was to get people more active and involved in judicial elections, which, according to Eisert, are often overlooked.

“Judicial races are always a little bit interesting because most people are very apathetic when they go and they see judges on the ballot,” said Eisert, noting that often “it’s not somebody that they identify as having impact on their daily lives.”

The Civic Center will continue working on a number of other social service projects throughout the year, including Unified Erie.

This is a countywide effort to reduce problem behaviors within the community” through “prevention, enforcement and reentry efforts to not only cub youth violence, but problem behaviors in general,” thus keeping with the Civic Institute’s function of promoting research, learning, teaching and service opportunities for the Mercyhurst community.