Public can meet candidates during Saturday forum

Published 5:00 am Friday, May 1, 2009

Candidates running for public office in Brookhaven’s upcomingcity elections have been invited to meet the public and discusspolicies important to them during an open political forum Saturdaynight.

The Coalition of Community Organizations – a partnership of theLincoln County NAACP, the Community Action Group of Brookhaven andCAFE A+ (Community Action Fostering Educational Activities) – haveextended invitations to all alderman and mayoral candidates for theforum. It will be held at 6 p.m. in the Alexander Junior HighSchool auditorium.

CAFE A+ and CCO spokesman Steven Keys said the forum will be achance for candidates to explain themselves and their platforms tothe public. The event will not be a true debate, Keys said, thoughsome questions from the audience may be fielded.

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“We wanted to give the people an opportunity to see thecandidates, meet them face-to-face and ask questions,” Keys said.”It’s a two-fold thing – it will help the voters and also help thecandidates interact together.”

Keys said each candidate would be limited to around threeminutes of speaking time for introductions and answers toquestions.

He said the forum will use questions from The DAILY LEADER’songoing candidate questionnaire, allowing candidates a chance toelaborate on the issues. Questions from the audience, which will beaccepted in written form at the beginning of the forum, will bechosen randomly and asked of the candidates, Keys said.

Keys said the forum is open to the residents of all wards.

“This is really just a way to get more community involvement,”he said. “A lot of changes have been going on in the politicalworld, and one of the things we’re trying to do is get more youthinvolved earlier in the political process and have a better feelfor the atmosphere.”

Keys said some candidates have prior engagements and will not beable to attend the forum, but invitations were extended to allseeking office.