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Telling a good story is a passion of mine.

Getting to the root of the issue and digging deeper is what I’ve done for the past ten years as an opinion columnist.

Which is why I admire fellow journalists like my pal Norberto Santana Jr and what he and his team have accomplished with Voice of OC.

I’m excited to be on the Voice of OC Board -especially at a time when now more than ever people need to be paying attention to local politics. It literally affects what happens outside our front doors.

Santana Jr. and I first started working together in 2010 when I pitched him the idea of the Feet to the Fire political forums.

The concept of having a media collaboration of different news agencies in the county asking tough questions of local candidates, was something he found interesting.

Since then the Feet to the Fire concept has grown each election season- as has our friendship.

So when he asked me to join the board last month I welcomed the opportunity to work with him on another level.

I only volunteer for things I believe in, and I believe there’s a need for focused and balanced local journalism. I also like the fact that Voice isn’t afraid of controversy.

I’m really comfortable in that space.

As a board member I plan on putting a think tank together of folks from all sides of the political aisle to bring innovative ideas to Voice and help it evolve even further. I also will help fundraising for this non-profit news organization.

Those who know me and have followed my columns, know I bring a different take to issues. I believe there are two sides to every story- and the truth is somewhere in the middle. I also like to reach out to readers and hear their thoughts.

I welcome Voice readers to contact me at bvontv1@gmail.com with ideas and comments.

As we move into campaign season 2018, Voice and Feet to the Fire will continue to collaborate with our partners at the LA Times to introduce new candidates to voters, understand incumbents and bring important issues forward so that folks can make educated decisions come election time.

We’ve got some innovative concepts for Voice and Feet to the Fire this year beginning in January so stay tuned.  We’ll be bringing you information on multi-media platforms that will be fun and informative.

We are at a crossroads in our political decision making here in OC.

What our future will look like depends on the lawmakers we put our faith in. Understanding who they are and what makes them tick is important.

I’m looking forward to taking an active role in supporting Voice and continuing to stir the pot of controversy along with my buddy Norberto.

Barbara Venezia is a journalist, author, producer and podcast host.

Opinions expressed in editorials belong to the authors and not Voice of OC.

Voice of OC is interested in hearing different perspectives and voices. If you want to weigh in on this issue or others please contact Voice of OC Involvement Editor Theresa Sears at TSears@voiceofoc.org

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