The event takes place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, October 30, at the Chimbole Cultural Center-Joshua Room, located at 38350 Sierra Highway in Palmdale. It is presented by the Antelope Valley chapters of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
The forum will allow candidates to express their positions on issues that directly impact the African American and Latino communities of Palmdale, organizers said in a press release.
“There are issues of particular concern to our communities which have not been addressed in any of the previous forums,” said local NAACP president V.Jesse Smith. “We have not heard, for example, how candidates would work with local law enforcement to ensure that errors of the past would not be repeated. We don’t even know if the candidates acknowledge that such problems exist.”
Misconduct by local law enforcement is a grave concern to the Latino community and the immigrant community, in particular, according to Xavier Flores, President of AV-LULAC.
“Though the issues of immigrants living in terror of being separated from loved ones or of being mistreated by authority figures has been discussed in various media outlets throughout the past years, no one has broached the subject during any of the recent candidate forums,” Flores said. “This is unconscionable in a city with a 55% Latino population of which a significant number are immigrant.”
Another pressing issue is the over-concentration of alcohol outlets and their relationship to high violent crime rates in communities with large minority populations, organizers said.
The AV-NAACP and AV-LULAC invite the entire local community to hear, firsthand, the candidates’ responses to these important and critical issues, organizers said in a press release
Candidates for Palmdale City Council have also been invited to participate in the forum. However, only Sir Duplechan has confirmed his attendance so far. Organizers are expecting more confirmations before Wednesday.