Mayoral forums announced, or not



With the May 17 Colorado Springs mayoral election just three weeks away, an update on what forums are happening, where and when, might be in order.

Steve Bach
  • Steve Bach

Richard Skorman
  • Richard Skorman

In case you haven't heard, the election is important, because voters will choose either real estate broker and developer Steve Bach or Springs businessman and former City Council member Richard Skorman as the city's first strong mayor.

First, to set the record straight, Citizens Project IS NOT co-hosting a forum with the tea party as claimed by Mitch Christensen, a mayoral candidate who didn't make the cut on April 5.

Today, Christensen sent this news release:

The Tea Party in conjunction with Citizens project have cancelled the planned May 9, 2011 mayoral debate at the Star Gazers between Steve Bach and Richard Skorman. Coordination and schedule issues between the Tea Party and Citizens Project and the failure to respond by Richard Skorman to accept the debate. Steve Bach had accepted the scheduled debate. The debate would have centered on mayoral issues only, such as city finances and the city charter and how each proposed to fix the problems within the charter. Other issues would have open for discussion during the debate. There would be no discussion of city council issues.
The biggest disappointment was the failure of a cooperative venture between Citizens Project and the Tea Party. Both organizations are non-political and the event would have gone a long way disproving the myth that Colorado Springs is a intolerant place. Both organizations are hopeful that a joint event can be scheduled in the future to promote the ability of all to work together in bringing this city together.

Citizens Project wasted no time in countering those claims, issuing a statement of its own.

I am writing to correct the statement below. I have spoken with Mr. Christiansen, and clarified that Citizens Project did not agree to co-sponsor the May 9 debate with the TEA party. While Citizens Project appreciates having been invited to develop a unique collaboration to inform voters, our long-standing relationships with our existing organizational and media partners, among other factors, precluded our participation in this event.

Citizens Project, in conjunction with the Colorado Springs Independent and KRDO Newschannel 13, is presently working to put together a mayoral runoff debate in early May. If we are able to finalize details and secure a date, we will notify the press. We have found representatives of both the Bach and
Skorman campaigns to be responsive and helpful.

Citizens Project is a local 501(c)3 organization dedicated to promoting civic engagement, religious freedom and equality. We do not support or oppose political candidates. We provide local nonpartisan election education programs including a voter guide and forums.

Kristy Milligan, Executive Director
Citizens Project

Now that that's cleared up, here's a listing of the forums we know about at this time. Please, anyone who knows of other forums coming up, do let us know.

Saturday, April 23, 1 to 3 p.m., at Star Academy Charter School, 2520 Airport Road, sponsored by the Black/Latino Coalition. The coalition says this is the only time candidates Steve Bach and Richard Skorman will be asked to address questions about the city's role and obligations regarding the Asian, African American and Hispanic communities in Colorado Springs.

Hosting the event will be the Rev. Al Loma of Victory Outreach and Mr. Willie Breazell,
of Star Academy.

Monday, May 6, 6 p.m., at Pikes Peak Center, 190 S. Cascade Ave., sponsored by the Colorado Springs Economic Development Corp. Cost: $10. Get tickets here, or call 520-7469. Doors open at 5 p.m.

To be announced, a forum sponsored by the Independent, KRDO News Channel 13 and Citizens Project.

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