You’re at the fair with the family, eating fried dough and watching the tractor pull when along comes the nicest, friendliest person you’ve ever met—but don’t know a thing about.

You’re face-to-face with a candidate campaigning for votes.

After some quick small talk, the candidate is quickly off to the next “meet and greet” opportunity in the crowd.

Ever feel tongue-tied when that happens? Wish you could learn something meaningful about the candidate?

As the CT20x17 campaign says, we need to know the basic issues facing Connecticut, engage candidates in addressing them, and then vote on Nov. 4 for the candidates who have the best answers.

Here’s what to do:

Go to CBIA’s Election 2014 website to find your candidates for office—it’s easy to search by town or name.

Get familiar with the big issues—like the ones listed at the CT20x17 site.

Have some questions ready to go for the candidates, whether you see them at the fair, shopping center, or at a local debate or candidate forum.

Q&A

Here are some sample discussion-starters:

·         What will you do to help businesses create more jobs in Connecticut?

·         How can we bring our transportation system into the 21st century?

·         How will you make Connecticut a more business-friendly state?

·         What is your plan to keep young people in Connecticut?

·         How do you propose we balance the state budget?

Your own questions dealing with the issues most important to you are always the best, but the five above could help get things going.

And using the Election 2014 site, you can also get the candidates’ contact information to reach them directly from the convenience of your home or office.