I have seen the advertisement on social media for the Mayoral Forum sponsored by the Richmond Chamber of Commerce and other business associations. Please edit the announcement to say that I am declining to participate.
The purpose of any candidate forum is to have an unbiased, fairly-moderated venue in which Richmond voters can learn about candidates. The hosts of this event, most notably the Richmond Chamber of Commerce, have admitted to raising as much money as they can to defeat progressive candidates like myself. They announced this plan last year in the Chevron-sponsored fake-news website https://richmondstandard.com/richmond/2022/02/28/richmond-chamber-launches-pac-to-address-business-unfriendly-city-council/. For this reason I do not trust that this forum will meet even a minimum standard for fairness. I also suspect the discussion at this forum will focus on what the candidates can do to support the interests of big businesses, not the needs of actual people who live in Richmond. I prefer to talk about what I will do to represent people of Richmond, not its corporations.
To that end, I look forward to participating in the many other forums that are now being scheduled by Neighborhood Councils and other groups. I sincerely encourage local business owners to attend one of these forums and raise their questions there.
Richmond Vice Mayor & Candidate for Mayor
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