On October 30 the people most responsible for our candidate forums—the leadership team, the moderators and timers, and the technical producers—met to review the election season and set a future course. Webinar and in-person, the forums flowed smoothly, the moderators and timers performed flawlessly, the questions were specific and related to important concerns, and the multiple-candidate panels worked well.
We considered this season of candidate forums a solid success. This is even though in-person audiences weren’t back to pre-Covid numbers. We will continue to offer in-person forums, both in Bellingham and in the smaller cities of our county, while realizing that the shift to mediated viewing may not end soon. Many more people viewed the forums online (and maybe also on BTV) than ventured out at night.
The most exciting idea to emerge from the review meeting was that we should enhance the page on our website that allows people to propose questions for the candidates. We look to establish the kind of Question Center that will serve to engage new audiences beyond our usual suspects.
Between election seasons we plan to reach out to high school and college students, to community groups, to service organizations, to homeless centers, and more, asking them to send us the questions they or their clients want answered by candidates wishing to represent them. If you are interested in being part of this effort, or if you work with a community or service organization, please let Minda Rae Amiran know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org