The room was packed, the audience was lively and the questions were lightning fast for Birmingham’s first mayoral forum.
Organized by Grassroots Coalition-Birmingham, the Birmingham Mayoral Forum 2017 was held upstairs at Avondale Brewing Company and featured a question and answer session for almost two hours. Originally scheduled from 5:30 to 7 pm, the forum went over a bit and lasted till almost 8 pm. The crowd didn’t mind one bit and was eager to listen.
Seven potential candidates were in attendance, but incumbent Mayor William Bell was not there. More forums with the candidates are being planned for the future, so make sure you attend the next one. I’ll see you there!
The topics covered included crime and violence, changes to the budget, education, neighborhood revitalization, being an ambassador to the city and public transparency. Questions were also taken from the audience, and about 15 people made their way to the front of the room to address the candidates.
The enthusiastic crowd had to be quieted by the moderator more than a few times. Vocal voters are always a good thing! The candidates were timed in their answers, ranging from two minutes to thirty seconds, and this put a bit of a strain on them.
While at times the pace seemed hurried, it’s never a bad idea to put politicians on the spot. Surveys were passed around to gather input for the next forum, and I’m betting changes will be made to allot for in-depth questions and more audience participation. All in all, the first forum was a hit, and I hope to see more of you out there next time. Your vote matters, Birmingham. Let’s educate ourselves the best we can.
Thanks to 99.9 The Plug and the Grassroots Coalition, you can watch the the forum in its entirety: