African American Leadership Council Hosts Arlington Primary Forum
May 9, 2015
African American Leadership Council Holds Arlington Primary Forum
Arlington, VA — It was standing room only Thursday night as the the African American Leadership Council of Arlington (AALCA) held a County Board Candidates Forum at Mount Olive Baptist Church.
Following an invocation from Dr. Ken Ballard, Minister of Family Life Ministries at Mount Zion Baptist Church, the Forum began with three-minute statements by School Board candidates Sharon Dorsey and Reid Goldstein. County Board candidates Audrey Clement, Katie Cristol, Peter Fallon, Mike McMenamin and Bruce Wiljanen participated in the night's Question and Answer session. James Lander, who had to leave for a School Board meeting, made a statement before the start of the session. A statement was read from Andrew Schneider, who was unable to attend due to a previous work commitment. Christan Dorsey was unable to attend due to a flight delay, and efforts to include him by conference phone were unsuccessful.
Dr. Leonard L. Hamlin, Senior Pastor of Macedonia Baptist Church served as moderator for the night, posing questions from AALCA interspersed with those from the audience. A range of topics were discussed, including economic development, improving public schools, affordable housing, hiring diverse County staff who actually live in Arlington, and reducing the tax rate for seniors.
“With the leadership of seven churches, as well as partnership from other organizations, this is a unique opportunity for candidates to speak to voters’ concerns and to share their visions and priorities for Arlington County,” says Sarah Summerville, AALCA chairman
This is the second year AALCA held a primary forum, having hosted all seven Democratic Primary candidates and the Republican candidate for the 8th Congressional District last May. Only candidates, not surrogates, may participate in AALCA forums. The Hypatian Institute, Inc., Virginia Leadership Institute, and Brazen Maven Marketing Communications sponsored the Forum.
Founded in 2007, AALCA is an African-American grassroots organization consisting of civic association leaders, the Black Pastors of Arlington, community activists, business leaders, elected officials and others. Calloway United Methodist Church, Lomax AME Zion Church, Macedonia Baptist Church, Mt. Olive Baptist Church, Mt. Salvation Baptist Church, Mt. Zion Baptist Church, and St. John’s Baptist Church are counted among the members.
Arlington candidates want top staff to live in county (May 14, 2015)