A Community Resource
LWV has a long history of conducting candidate forums during each election cycle. These forums provide a community the opportunity to hear first-hand from candidates running for state or local offices. LWV has strict policies to maintain its nonpartisanship. League members are provided significant training on how to run a forum, including logistics, communicating with the candidates, the press and occasionally disgruntled citizens and making sure the rules agreed to by each of the candidates are followed. Moderators are trained to maintain decorum throughout the event and to ensure that all questions posed to the candidates are not phrased in any way that would indicate partisanship towards a particular candidate. While some elected offices may attract a number of forum opportunities, LWV hosts and plan forums for local races such as school board or city council. It is one of our signature services we have long offered to every community we are a part of or ones that may not have a local League, but appreciate the League's nonpartisan approach and wish to have us moderate a local forum.
As part of LWV's community outreach services, we are working with a number of immigrant communities who have recently become naturalized citizens. They are eager to be involved in their new country's democratic process. Some of our local Leagues have been providing community forums around the mechanics of voting, the importance of voting and understanding the issues on the ballot. Additionally, as these new citizens build confidence and knowledge about their community structures, they have asked to work with LWV Minnesota to learn how to conduct candidate forums and to be able to invite candidates to address the specific issues and concerns experienced by new citizens.