Only Democrats (and one Independent) attend candidate forum sponsored by NAACP, Tucson Urban League & Black Chamber of CommerceTuesday, August 31st, 2010
Got a late notice to attend a candidate community forum sponsored by the NAACP – Tucson chapter, Tucson Urban League, and the Tucson-Southern Arizona Black Chamber of Commerce, held tonight at the Dunbar School Auditorium, 325 W. 2nd Street (at Main Ave.) As I walked in Jonathan Peck, President of the Tucson Urban League was announcing that all Republican, Democratic and 3rd party candidates (statewide) and for Southern Arizona had been invited to attend & participate. About 100 people, mostly African Americans, were in the audience.
These were the state legislators that participated tonight (1st panel):
LD 25 House Rep. Pat Fleming (D)
LD 27 House candidates Sally Ann Gonzales and Dr. Macario Saldate (Ds)
LD 28 Senator Paula Aboud (D)
LD 28 Senate candidate Dave Ewoldt (I)
LD 28 House Rep. Steve Farley (D)
LD 28 House candidate Bruce Wheeler (D)
LD 30 House candidate Andrea Dalessandro (D)
LD 30 Senate candidate Dr. Todd Camenish (D), came in late
Also attending to participate in the 2nd panel were U.S. Senate candidate Rodney Glassman,
Attorney General Terry Goddard running for Governor, Sec. of State candidate Chris Deschene, and State Mine Inspector candidate Manuel Cruz, all Democrats.
Questions asked of the panelists were basically about steps they would take to improve education, to bring economic opportunity to minority populations, to strengthen public health for communities of color, to provide quality health care, and to insure equal treatment in the criminal justice system for minority populations. Being as these were all Democrats (and one Independent, formerly a Green Party activist) their answers were quite uniform in advocating and trying to restore funding to all these areas.
Of note: Sally Ann Gonzales mentioned that she is of Yaqui heritage, Chris Deschene is a member of the Navajo Nation, and Manuel Cruz and Dr. Macario Saldate are Hispanic, and provided their ethnic backgrounds and expertise to their responses.
The last question was about what steps could be taken to insure a fair and just dialogue re: immigration reform, and both Rodney Glassman and Terry Goddard said that could be done by “retiring John McCain.” Chris Deschene repeatedly asked the audience to elect Democrats to the state legislature, where he currently serves as House Rep. in LD 2.
Also in attendance tonight were former Pima County Democratic Party Chair Paul Eckerstrom for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, and former Democratic Pima County Supervisor Dan Eckstrom. Fellow blogger “3 Sonorans” (David Morales) was there as well, and will be posting a video capturing the panelists’ answers to some of these questions. I’ll link to his blog once he posts it. UPDATE: Unfortunately neither David nor I got a lot of advance notice of this forum, so his cell phone video did not tape well (see his comment below).