A big event is approaching. Election Day 2012 is on Nov. 6 and is only 60 days away. For those who vote by mail, the choices are even sooner.

I’m not trying to convince you that this is the most important election ever, or even in your lifetime. Every presidential election is important.

While the presidential race will be the most important and most visible in the next two months, several other races and 11 propositions are on the ballot. Many of these are more important to us than the top of the ticket.

For example, Proposition 30, Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax increase or revenue raiser, will affect your pocket book and your children’s and grandchildren’s future. While most of the additional money will not increase educational funding directly, it will lower the probability that education programs — from kindergarten through high school and the state’s university and college systems — will not suffer significant reductions.

California is also electing a U.S. Senator. Do you know the candidates? The Democrats have nominated Dianne Feinstein. If elected, she will begin her fourth full-term in January.

But do you know the name of the Republican candidate? Read further because it might be asked next week for Town Talk.

The Town Crier articles leading up to Nov. 6 will not tell you how to vote and neither will I in these columns. Our goal is to help you prepare to make your choices, particularly for the races and measures which will have a significant and local consequence.

We’re starting our political educational effort this week. On pages 21 and 22, you can find articles about propositions 33 and 39. With 11 measures on the ballot and only nine weeks until Election Day, we have to cover more than one measure per week.

But there will be races for legislative office to report on also. For example, as of this election, Idyllwild is in a new California Assembly district. And Hemet Unified School District has three director seats up for election. Although Idyllwild cannot vote in that race, we’ll keep you informed about the candidates who will have some control over your family’s education.

What about Measure U? Know about that one?

The paper does not have the financial resources to fund our own or participate in major statewide polls. But we can report on them when released. More importantly, we can try to improvise and focus here.

Look at this week’s Town Talk on the adjoining page. We plan to use this tool several more times between now and Nov. 6 to learn what the Hill is thinking about and what issues are important to local residents.

And your opinions matter to us. It may not put more money in your pocket, but the people who took time to register their choices about the importance of the 11 propositions ultimately set the priority, which we’ll use to report on the measures.

Rather than simply go down the list in order, we’ll do the most interesting and important to you close to the election rather than make you remember all the details over the next 60 days.

Elizabeth Emken is the Republican senatorial candidate. She and her family live in Danville, Calif. Emken served as vice president for government relations at Autism Speaks.

Measure U will reauthorize $49 million of HUSD bonds previously approved in November 2006. Its passage will save taxpayers up to $198 million in overall interest costs.