The Rapidian

Community Media Center to host citizen-driven mayoral candidate debate

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

All four mayoral candidates will be in attendance for a debate forum at the Wealthy Theatre on Wednesday, July 15. The event is free and open to the public, and will also be broadcast live on GRTV and The Rapidian.

/Courtesy of Wealthy Theatre

Underwriting support from:

Details for attendees

RSVP on Facebook

WHEN: July 15, 2015 6:30 p.m.

Doors open 5:30 p.m.

Response stations open to public following debate


WHERE: Wealthy Theatre, 1130 Wealthy Street SE



Neighborhood development

Race relations

City services

Open forum

The Grand Rapids Community Media Center (CMC), in an effort to ensure local citizens are informed, engaged and ready to vote in our city’s August 4 mayoral primary, is hosting a debate on July 15. 

The debate, led with assistance from local leaders in areas of urban development, racial relations and city services, will be formed around a citizen-driven approach. Attendees and those watching at home will be able to ask the candidates their own questions, which will be displayed on a large screen at the front of the audience.

The various departments of the CMC are coordinating together to create an open forum for debate, with Wealthy Theatre hosting the event, The Rapidian moderating and live-streaming and GRTV live broadcasting on Channel 25.

All four mayoral candidates— Rosalynn Bliss, Robert Dean, John George and Willard Lee— will be in attendance and open to questions. The event is free and open to the public.

“Because the Community Media Center serves as a platform for citizen voices, we want to ensure that a debate with our mayoral hopefuls is also a citizen-driven forum,” says Tom Clinton, CMC Executive Director. “This promises to be an important tool in preparing our local citizens to vote on August 4. This election is especially important because if a candidate win over 51% of the vote, the election will be decided by the primary. Between the possibility of a mayoral decision based on low voter turnout, as is typical of primaries and term limits coming into effect, it's a pretty important election cycle for our city. We want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to inform and engage local citizens.”

Following the debate, attendees will be able to respond to what they have heard in video “response stations” operated by GRTV staff and volunteers. These responses will then be uploaded to The Rapidian in its Story Matters collection and broadcast on GRTV.

“It’s always been our goal to not just give information to our neighbors, but to empower our neighbors to share the information in a way that gets local citizens engaged and involved in their community,” says The Rapidian’s Managing Editor, Holly Bechiri. “This event is no different, with an emphasis on empowering local voices to be the ones asking questions of our city’s future leaders.”

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