I'm a fan of single-issue candidate forums -- but that's probably because I see enough of the candidates to know their one- or two-minute responses to all the big issues. Anyway, there are a couple of forums for the at-large city council candidates coming up that you might want to check out.
The first is tonight, focussing on parks and open spaces. It's hosted by Boston Park Advocates, with some 90 co-sponsoring organizations, from 6:30 to 8:00 at the Franklin Park Golf Course Clubhouse. It will focus on "maintenance, public safety, youth, arts, health, recreation, and cultural programming that make parks vibrant and healthy," according to the group's press release. All eight candidates are expected to participate.
Christine Poff of the Franklin Park Coalition points out to me that when you ask ordinary people what city services they care about, park- and green-space-related issues almost always come up. And yet, those are seldom discussed in city political campaigns, and certainly not in any depth or secificity.
Well, that oversight will be corrected tonight: Poff shared with me an issue brief that was sent to each of the candidates in preparation for the forum, and frankly it should be required reading. (Note to Poff and the other organizers: if possible, make copies available for tonight's forum attendees!)
The other forum is Monday, the 26th, at 6:00pm, hosted by the Boston University Student Union. It will be at CGS 129, which I believe is the Jacob Sleeper Auditorium at 871 Comm. Ave.
I am told that this will be primarily (although not entirely) focussed on issues of interest to college students -- who could potentially be a crucial voting group in this election; they appear to have turned out in very low numbers in the preliminary, probably because that was held so soon after students returned to campus, so their numbers could (and should) be much higher in the November final election.
I would love to see these forums well-attended, both because I think the issues are important and also so that more of this type of event will be held in future elections. So get up and go!