Campaigns torpedo League forum
“We have tried to broker a new agenda that would meet the concerns on both sides while still falling within our forum guidelines. This has not been possible,” the League said in a statement issued Monday night that said both campaign had withdrawn plans to participate. “The forum is canceled.”
The Committee Against Measure A threatened on January 24 to picket the forum because they didn’t think they were getting equal time to offer their say on the measure. They were upset that the forum’s organizers chose to include a 30-minute presentation from the school district about the tax and its impact on the district, which they saw as an additional opportunity to advocate for the tax.
“The current forum structure amounts to 40 minutes of scheduled time for proponents of the unfair tax structure, and just 10 minutes of time for advocates of a fair, progressive tax structure,” opponents of the measure said in a press release. They said they were giving the League three days to change the forum’s structure.
Proponents announced their decision to bow out on Friday, saying they respect the League’s efforts but didn’t feel the event would proceed as envisioned.
“These antics have turned what was supposed to be a neutral forum for the sharing of information into an opportunity for grandstanding. Given the opposition campaign’s unwillingness to participate and its clear interest in creating something that is more spectacle than informational forum, we see no reason to move forward,” the tax’s proponents wrote in a letter to the League that was also sent to reporters and bloggers on Friday.
The League has created a handout with information on the measure and on what proponents and opponents have said about it, which will be distributed to local libraries, high schools, the adult school and churches. Complete information will be available on the League’s website.
Meanwhile, the Committee Against Measure A is offering a presentation on Measure A at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Main Library, 1550 Oak Street. They have invited Alameda SOS to attend, CAMA’s David Howard said Tuesday.