The Confederation is well known and respected for hosting candidate forums over the years. Key objectives: informing our residents about issues in particular elections and meeting and hearing candidates give their opinions on questions submitted from a real audience composed of residents like you and me. The end point has been and will continue to be an informed electorate.
The Confederation has always believed that we all win when knowledge replaces “I don’t know” when stepping into the voting booth.
Remember, the forums are completely nonpartisan, assuring the live audience and those watching on TV that the Confederation delivers the candidate messaging without any flavoring from us.
Despite the above credible history of civic duty as our platform, you can imagine how shocked our members were to have the Illinois Legislature and the U.S. Congress forums cancelled because not enough candidates wanted to participate on any one forum evening. Maybe there is a place for “first time ever” events, but we were not happy about the lack of candidates willing to meet our residents. What were they afraid of?
Another aspect of this sad story is the considerable amount of time the dedicated forum co-chairs wasted pursuing the candidates. The process started last spring, and included determining who was running followed by contacting candidates and monitoring responses. We were gravely disappointed by candidates not responding to telephone and email messages leading to canceling due to a lack of a quorum. This process has been likened to herding cats!
Please watch for the planned February forums in advance of the April elections. I believe the next batch of candidates will meet with the Confederation and understand part of the responsibility of saying “yes” in the election process involves facing the public.