Houston Area Table (HAT), a part of Texans Together, a 501(c)(3) nonpartisan nonprofit, hosted a Mayoral Forum at lunchtime on August 18, 2009. Jay Blazek Crossley, with Houston Tomorrow, is on the steering committee of HAT, so Houston Tomorrow became a partner in this event, along with several other local nonprofit organizations.
Three of the leading candidates, Annise Parker, Gene Locke, and Roy Morales attended the forum. Council Member Peter Brown was not able to attend because of a pre-existing family obligation, so his Political Director, Marc Eichenbaum, joined in his place. The steering committee decided back in the spring to set a date and invite these four candidates and not to change the date if one or more could not attend, but to allow surrogates in that case. We felt this was a fair and useful way to enrich the public’s understanding of each candidates positions.
Questions for the event were gathered from the public through a series of events and methods, including via twitter, facebook, online survey, comment cards at a happy hour event, video tape booth at a happy hour event, and more. The executive committee then derived four main topics that could capture most of the questions that arose from this process: Transportation & Sustainability - Health, Nonprofits, & Human Services - Youth & Education - Neighborhoods & Quality of Life.
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