Update on the January 15 Aldermanic Debate

As of today, Maria Hadden and Bill Morton have accepted our invitation to participate in a January 15 aldermanic candidates’ debate. Joe Moore has been invited – by email, phone, and a letter mailed to his home – but has yet to respond to the invitation. We remain hopeful that Alderman Moore will agree to participate.

Network 49 extended invitations to a number of organizations to co-sponsor the event, including the Democratic Party of the 49th Ward. Our invitation to all invited organizations remains open, provided they agree to abide by the League of Women Voters’ rules and respect the implicit neutrality and objectivity of the event. At present, the co-sponsoring organizations include Network 49, Rise 49, Protect RP, and Jane Addams Senior Caucus.

The rules of January 15 debate were adopted by the organizers and approved by the League of Women Voters and subsequently shared to all candidates ahead of time. Under the rules:

  • Our moderator is a representative from the League of Women Voters of Evanston. The event rules prohibit the moderator from being a person who lives in the ward, or who is involved in any of the campaigns. This is to ensure the moderator is neutral and able to perform her role effectively.
  • Questions from the co-sponsors, students, and audience members will be gathered and shared to the moderator, who will select which questions to ask. Neither the moderator, nor the candidates, will be provided questions in advance of the event.
  • Each candidate will receive equal time to respond to each question and time will be closely monitored by student timekeepers and the moderator.
  • There will be time for opening and closing statements.
  • In the event only 1 candidate is present, the format will convert from a debate to a moderated forum. Questions will be shared to the moderator, who will decide what questions to present to the sole candidate.

The League of Women Voters rules allow League-sanctioned forums with only one candidate in the event that other qualified candidates do not participate, thus denying voters in a competitive district the opportunity to attend a moderated event.

We will continue to provide updates about the event as it draws nearer, including updates on what candidates are participating.

Also, if there is sufficient interest in the community to hold additional debates, Network 49 would be pleased to offer its assistance to that effort, provided that events observe the neutrality and objectivity demanded by the residents of the community.

For questions about the event, please contact Katy Hogan or Michael Harrington, co-chairs of Network 49, at contact@network49.net or (773) 828-9539.