Once it got revved, the Candidate Forum for a Progressive Greenbelt at the Community Center on October 22 rolled on like a well-oiled machine. With one emcee (resident Lois Rosado), two moderators (June White Dillard, former president of the NAACP of Prince George’s County, and Patrick McGann, director of strategy and planning for the D.C. based organization Men Can Stop Rape) and 12 sponsoring organizations, they were prepared for anything.
Upwards of 70 people attended. All of this year’s candidates for the Greenbelt City Council participated except for incumbent Edward Putens, who was unable to attend. This was the last forum prior to the election on Tuesday, November 7, though a last candidate “meet and greet” was held on October 26 at Greenbelt Station.
The organizers sent 17 questions to the candidates in advance with the instruction that eight questions would be asked of all candidates at the forum, with one minute allowed to each for response. For the eighth question and last round, candidates were given two minutes to respond to a question that had not been asked at the forum.
The 12 participating candidates sat across the end of the room in reverse ballot order, from left to right: Susan Stewart, Brandon (Ric) Gordon, Emmett Jordan, Danielle (Li’l Dan) Celdran, Aaron Marcavitch, Judith (J) Davis, Rodney Roberts, Leta Mach, William (Bill) Orleans, George Boyce, Colin Byrd and Silke Pope. Of those, five are incumbents: Davis, Jordan, Mach, Pope and Roberts. Each candidate had a microphone that actually worked, thus overcoming the usually daunting acoustics of the Multipurpose Room.
The November 2 News Review has a detailed summary of the questions and answers from this forum, as well as other election coverage.