Letters to the Editor: Forum Gives Candidates Chance to Get Message Out


Letters to the Editor: June 18 – 24, 2015


Forum Gives Candidates Chance to Get Message Out


The first event of the Falls Church election season will be Tuesday, July 21 at 7 p.m., sponsored by the Community Issues Forum. All 14 candidates (five for three City Council seats and nine for three School Board seats) have been invited.

Why so early? Complex and, in some cases, misunderstood issues have attracted the most candidates in recent memory. That’s good news. But it creates problems for voters trying to differentiate among the candidates and it may create financial problems for some candidates. Even in a small community like Falls Church City, running for office costs money.

When Citizens for a Better City endorsed slates of candidates for office every election year, those candidates were assured of financial support from CBC and CBC members. Groups fielding opposition slates against the CBC candidates – or candidates running as genuine independents – were sometimes financed by one person or a small group of people. Some were self-financed and there were claims that some winners had “bought” the election.

The Community Issues Forum gives lesser-known and new candidates the opportunity to run for office and have a reasonable chance to get their message before the voters without breaking the family budget. It takes courage, commitment and a strong sense of community service to run. Potential candidates should not have to decide against running because they cannot afford it. The Community Issues Forum allows voters to meet candidates and ask questions that can help voters make their decisions.

Falls Church is fortunate to have so many highly qualified and accomplished citizens. The Forum is working to create a better way for talented office-seekers to present their ideas to voters; and the Forum wants to give voters as unbiased a way possible to learn what the candidates offer.

Harry Shovlin

Co-Founder, Community Issues Forum

American Legion Post 130


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