The Radio One & 8News Gubernatorial Community Forum was a huge success for voters and undecided voters in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The forum attracted more than 100 people to the Virginia War Memorial which was not a debate. Candidates for Virginia governor (R) Ken Cuccinelli, (D) Terry McAuliffe and (L) Robert Sarvis responded to questions submitted by voters on Radio One websites and the 8News website.
All three candidates had agreed with forum organizer Clovia Lawrence of Radio One Richmond to stay focused on their own agenda. Amie McLain of 8News was the forum moderator.
The candidates had approximately 90 second each to respond to 9 questions outlining their plan to support or oppose specific policy in Virginia on health care, gun show loophole, educational disparities for minorities, abortion, same-sex marriage, minority procurement and restoration of civil rights for non violent felons.
McAuliffe/Cuccinnelli/Sarvis Forum Questions 10/26/2013:
According to the Virginia Department of Education, schools need to make major improvements when it comes to graduating minority students, those with disabilities, and economically disadvantaged students.
What are your plans to improve education, especially in our urban communities?
https://p1pe.doe.virginia.gov/reportcard/report.do?division=All&schoolName=All (see page 2)
According to the Department of Labor, the unemployment rate in Virginia stands at 5.6%, compared to the national average of 7.3%.
How do you plan to stimulate Virginia’s economy and bring more businesses and jobs to the Commonwealth?
3) Women & Minority Business
The purpose of the Small, Women, & Minority Business (SWaM) program, is to enhance procurement opportunities for minority businesses. For the first quarter of the 2014 fiscal year, the Commonwealth spent about a third of its dollars on SWaM procurements, yetless than 5% was awarded to minority owned businesses. As the next Governor, what would be your strategy to better support minority businesses?
Virginia law currently prohibits third-trimester abortions, and public funding is available for abortion only in cases of rape, incest, fetal impairment or life endangerment. If elected, what changes would you support, if any, to current abortion laws in the Commonwealth?
5) Same-sex marriage
Here in Virginia we have a constitutional amendment which bans same-sex marriage. If elected, would you support lifting the ban? Please explain why or why not.
6) Gun Rights
Under current Virginia law, only licensed dealers are required to obtain background checks on buyers at gun shows. Proposals to extend that requirement to private sellers have been rejected several years in a row by the General Assembly. Do you support closing the gun show loophole in Virginia? Explain why or why not.
7) Health Care
Explain your position on the Affordable Care Act and whether it will benefit or hurt Virginia citizens. In addition, should Virginiaexpand its Medicaid program?
8) Restoration of Rights
Under Virginia law, the restoration of voting rights for former convicted felons is solely at the discretion of the governor. Governor Bob McDonnell has restored the rights of more than 6,800 former felons by streamlining the process. As the next Governor of Virginia, explain if and how you plan to continue this trend of restoring the rights of former felons who have paid their debt to society?
Virginia is considered a swing state. If elected as governor, what would you do to reach across party lines to move the Commonwealth forward?
“I was undecided but know for sure who I will vote for” said forum attendee Elizabeth Roberts.
The Radio One & 8News Community Forum partners - ABC 8News, Haynes Furniture, The Virginia War Memorial, Chesterfield Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority INC and Rolling for Freedom