Five forums have been scheduled in September and October to give voters a chance to hear directly from the eight candidates who are seeking a seat on the Lake Oswego City Council.
Councilors Jeff Gudman, Joe Buck and Jackie Manz currently hold the three seats that will be up for grabs in the general election in November, but Manz is the only incumbent running for another term. Term limits prevent Gudman from running again, and Buck is seeking a spot on the Metro Council instead.
The result: the most jam-packed and diverse council contest Lake Oswego has seen in decades.
Manz is joined in the race by former Planning Commission Chair Randy Arthur, restaurateur Daniel Nguyen, LO Moms community service organizer Emma Burke, International Leadership Academy director Massene Mboup, Lewis & Clark College archivist Hannah Crummé, former School Board Chair John Wendland and former Hallinan Heights Neighborhood Association Chair Donald Mattersdorff.
The Review has profiled all eight candidates during the past two months; you can read their stories online at tinyurl.com/LOCandidateProfiles. To meet them face to face, check out these upcoming forums:
LAKE OSWEGO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Date: Tuesday, Sept. 18
Time: 7:30-9:30 a.m.
Location: Oswego Lake Country Club (20 Iron Mountain Blvd.)
Cost: $25 for chamber members, $35 for non-members
The Chamber of Commerce forum will be a breakfast event. Chamber members can sign up in advance at the link above, although onsite registration will begin at 7 a.m. on the day of the event.
The debate is billed as a question-and-answer session for the candidates, with a focus on local businesses and business-related policy topics that might come before the council. After a brief introduction, chamber officials say each candidate will be given three questions and just one five-minute speech to answer them in any way they see fit.
The official event is scheduled to end at 9 a.m., but audience members may stay through 9:30 a.m. to talk with any candidates who choose to remain. For more information, contact Keith Dickerson or Liz Hartman at 503-636-3634.
CLACKAMAS COUNTY DEMOCRATS
Date: Sunday, Sept. 30
Time: 2:30-5:30 p.m.
Location: Foothills Condos Meeting Room (5065 Foothills Drive)
The forum, hosted by Clackmas County Democrats from Oregon House District 38, will feature a mix of candidates from local races. According to co-leader Kathy Gordon, the invited participants include Lake Oswego City Council candidates, both candidates for the runoff for Metro Council District 2, U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader, state Rep. Andrea Salinas, state Sen. Rob Wagner and Clackamas County Circuit Court Judge Ulanda Watkins.
Gordon says each candidate will be given a chance to speak about whatever topics they think are most important and participate in a Q&A session.
"We're just tyring to make sure that the people in our district vote, which is the most important thing," Gordon says, "and that we give (the candidates) time to speak to their constituents about why they should be voting for them."
More information about the event will be posted later in the month on the Clackamas County Democrats' website, www.clackamasdems.org.
SPEED DATE THE CANDIDATES
Date: Monday, Oct. 1
Time: 7:30-9 p.m.
Location: Adult Community Center (505 G Ave)
The FAN/Forest Hills Neighborhood Association will host a meet-the-candidates event at the ACC that will be organized as a series of eight round-table discussions. Following a brief introduction, each of the candidates will sit at a different table to give residents a chance to ask questions about city issues.
After eight minutes, a bell will ring and the candidates will rotate to a new table, continuing until every candidate has visited every table. According to FAN/Forest Hills Neighborhood Association Chair Carole Ockert, the idea is for the evening to be conversational rather than sounding like a campaign event.
"That means no speeches," she says.
The free event is open to all Lake Oswego residents.
RESPOND TO RACISM/LO FOR LOVE
Date: Monday, Oct. 8
Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Location: Lake Oswego United Church of Christ (1111 Country Club Road)
Respond to Racism and LO for LOve, two grassroots community-action organizations, are teaming up to host a candidate forum "to be sure that we all have the information we need to make an informed vote," according to Respond to Racism co-founder Willie Poinsette.
"We're asking people to join us and learn about the experience, the ideas and the vision of our neighbors who are stepping forward to serve our community," she says.
The forum will include a brief introduction for each candidate, followed by either two or three questions drafted by a working group with members from both organizations. Audience members will also be able to submit written questions on notecards during the event, and the moderators will go through the list to pick additional questions at the end. Audience questions can be directed at specific candidates or the entire group.
The forum will have two moderators, one adult and one youth, and the working group is also reaching out to include youth voices in the process of drafting the questions.
LAKE OSWEGO REVIEW
Date: Thursday, Oct. 18
Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Location: Lakewood Center for the Arts Community Room (368 S State St)
All eight candidates have accepted invitations to The Review's Oct. 18 forum, which is being co-hosted by students from the Lake Oswego Youth Leadership Council. Candidates will be given a chance to introduce themselves to voters; answer questions from Review Editor Gary M. Stein, who will serve as moderator; and participate in a Q&A session with attendees at the end of the evening.
"Our forum will focus on a variety of issues facing the city, ranging from broad planning issues like the future of the Stafford area to day-to-day topics like a potential ban on plastic bags," Stein says. "Nothing is off-limits."
The forum will be held in the lower-level community room at the Lakewood Center. The entrance is on the side of the building facing Middlecrest Road. The free event will also be recorded for broadcast later on The Review's website, www.lakeoswegoreview.com.
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