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CCF to one again host candidate’s forum, now virtual amid COVID-19

The Coalition of Concerned Families (CCF) is will host its Candidates Forum at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 23rd at Seniq’s Variety Cafe, located at 118 Washington Street, preceded by a Voter Education session earlier that afternoon at 4:30 pm.

“An informed voter is the best kind of voter, said Selma City Councilwoman Angela Benjamin,” a CCF founding member. “That’s just my opinion but, in my head, that’s a fact. The more you know, the more you grow.”

Because of COVID-19, CCF’s annual forum will be conducted in person only for candidates seeking the position of Selma City Council President, Selma City School Board President or as a Selma City School Board representative.

Candidates are asked to arrive with their laptops fully charged and equipped with the Zoom and Facebook Live apps.

Candidates jockeying for Selma City Council President will answer audience submitted questions from 5-5:15 p.m. followed by a second round of questions from 5:45-5:50 p.m.

Those seeking Selma City School Board positions will also answer two rounds of audience submitted questions with the first round scheduled at 6:05-6:20 p.m. and the second round from 7-7:20 p.m.

Benjamin said that access to a wealth of information about candidates for public office, whether positive or negative, aids voters in making educated choices at the polls.

“People used to go to the polls and just vote – whether it was a family vote, whether it was a church vote, whether it was a friend vote – because they just didn’t have the information they needed,” Benjamin said. “With today’s technology, people now have broad access to information and we can do these forums in any kind of way – even in the middle of a pandemic.”

Benjamin noted that the CCF began holding candidate forums in the early 90s, recalling small hotel conference rooms used as mini-town hall spaces in those early days – since then, the forums have grown and organizations across the area have caught the bug.

“We’ve been doing it a long time and it has really caught on with other organizations,” Benjamin said.