Introducing the (un)forum - an online local candidate forum

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October 12, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                             
CONTACT: Katie Loovis, (919) 696-0781

CHAPEL HILL, NC: Today, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce, the Orange-Chatham Group of the Sierra Club, and the Orange County Affordable Housing Coalition launched the (un)forum – a virtual, viral local candidate forum. 
“Instead of a traditional, in-person candidate forum, we are using a new digital platform to engage candidates in dynamic conversations, which will be shared through our collective social networks reaching more than 15,000,” said Katie Loovis, Vice President of External Affairs for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce.
All 15 candidates who filed for the Chapel Hill Mayor, Town Council, Carrboro Mayor, and Board of Alderman races were invited to participate and respond to five questions, each in 90 seconds or less:
  1. Tell us why you are running for office.
  2. In your opinion, what should be the two most important affordable housing priorities in your community, and how can local government help achieve them?
  3. What are the two or three most important environmental issues for your community right now, and what concrete steps will you take to address them?
  4. What three things will you do to make your community a great place to start and grow a business?
  5. What is your approach to balancing economic, social and environmental priorities?
The development of the questions was a collaborative process and shows that diverse organizations with shared values can come together on aligned interest. The organizers have collaborated on candidate forums in years-past, but this is this first-ever online forum. The digital platform for the (un)forum was designed by Chapel Hill-based technology start-up company, shineBIG.
“Traditional candidate forums require voters to be in a certain place at a certain time,” said Tola Oguntoyinbo, Co-Founder, shineBIG. “The (un)forum uses shineBIG’s e-platform to grab viewers’ attention and hold it. We will connect, inform, and engage candidates and voters through the entire election cycle.”
The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce is a membership organization that advances the business interests of our community and builds a sustainable community where business thrives.
The Orange-Chatham Group of the Sierra Club is one of 12 groups in the NC Chapter of the Sierra Club - a tireless voice for the preservation of our natural heritage for our own well-being and generations to come.
The Orange County Affordable Housing Coalition is an association of individuals and organizations working together to provide housing opportunities for all in Orange County, NC.
Katie Loovis, VP for External Affairs
kloovis@carolinachamber.org, (919) 967-7075