Given that candidate information is not on the side of the voters in Davenport, save some coverage from The Ledger, it’s fortunate that the Davenport Historical Society (DHS) hosts its almost annual election forums, where voters can literally see and hear their candidates.
DHS started the event after feeling that Davenports citizens should have some public access to their candidates, their plans, concerns and ambitions. Harriet Rust, president of DHS, a non-profit incorporated in 2013, said that the forum is not “a he-said she-said platform” but one which — if all candidates attend — promotes “a better chance of making a wise decision when casting your vote.”
The reference to candidate attendance regards candidate boycotts of past forums. Apparently DHS organizes the event in such a way as to eliminate debate between the candidates, which has been argued is a method that favors incumbents over their opponents and is, thus, not fair. It also allows no questions from the public in attendance, which might make the forum more fair but would add an interest that I suspect might not adhere with some of Davenport’s more Southern way of doing things. It leads to a very calming (and maybe calm is good) yet borderline boring event, but for those who really do want to see and hear, it is the event to attend.
On the plus side of fairness, DHS does use a different agency for every forum, which ensures that no candidate gets questions ahead of time. Last year’s moderator was Tracy Garcia and the first year of the event, the event moderator was Yaderia Holmes. This year is the third forum hosted by DHS. As of the date of this post, DHS is waiting to hear from someone titled “Sr. Governmental Affairs Program Manager” for this year’s event. Hmmm … intriguing.
Each candidate in attendance will have three minutes to introduce themselves and comment, then three minutes at the end of the forum to make additional comments. There’ll there be no food and drink, so BYOB.