Issues & AdvocacyGet Involved
Advocacy365: Sponsoring a Candidate Forum
By Amanda Stratton, Manager, Grassroots & Advocacy Outreach
Last week, we continued our Advocacy365 series with an introduction to hosting a candidate coffee. The advantage of this type of event is that AIA members can connect with a candidate in a more personal way. However, many members may be interested in hearing the views of both candidates on issues that affect the built environment. Hosting a candidate forum is the perfect way to make that happen!
The idea of an AIA-sponsored candidates forum is to bring architects and political candidates together to discuss important issues before a federal, state, and/or local election. Candidates (including current and future elected officials) will have the opportunity to take stands on important policy issues that may not be addressed in other campaign forums or advertising. In turn, architects have the opportunity to question candidates and to compare their positions on specific issues.
In addition to candidates forums, AIA components can also sponsor forums that consider both sides of a ballot issue proposition. These AIA issue forums would use many of the same format ideas as candidates forums. Instead of candidates debating, official representatives from each side of an issue would speak on its behalf.
Both types of forums can require significant amounts of planning, but the AIA is here to help! AIA Advocacy has developed a toolkit on hosting these types of events. This toolkit discusses the two types of forums, provides guidance on organizing and hosting these events, and offers suggestions for maximizing your impact and the effectiveness of your event.
Click here to access the toolkit and get the details about hosting a candidate or issues forum, and stay tuned to the Issues & Advocacy page for the next installment of the Advocacy365 series!
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