Dear League Leaders,
There are a variety of debate settings other than the traditional auditorium or studio that might be considered if the candidates, political parties and the League are willing to experiment and break with tradition.
Outdoor Rallies: Weather permitting, a debate can be an exciting centerpiece to an outdoor community event, such as a primary debate heading a 4th of July band concert and fireworks display at a community park. Coordination, cooperation and co-sponsorship are important to the success of such an event but the exhilaration it can generate and the favorable publicity for the League are well worth the additional effort.
Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner ForumS: People are often willing to attend a sit-down meal attached to a candidate meeting. Breakfast and luncheon affairs are usually geared for those who are employed and are on budgeted time schedules; therefore the maximum time involved is usually limited to 1 1/2 hours, equally divided between eating and listening to the candidates. Dinners may run as long as 3 hours. In either situation, cooperation of the caterer or restaurant is necessary to assure that the meal begins on time, and the moderator must start and conclude the meeting on schedule.
Shopping Center ForumS: With more and more shopping centers enclosed and climate-controlled, they have become community gathering places. Some shopping center managers are willing to provide microphones and other essentials to make an informal candidate meeting possible.
On another note....There are two webinars coming up. The first will be on September 21st. "Shaping Tomorrow: Registering Voters" will look into the ins and outs of running a successful voter registration drive.
ln early October we will have a very interactive webinar that will have two moderators (one experienced and the other very "green") spontaneously responding to "sticky" questions and issues that may arise during the election season. When you register, you will receive information about running a debate/forum and have the option to submit "sticky" questions or situations. This should be quite a learning experience for us all!
Look to register for both on the Leader's Update.