Earlier this week, Citizens for a Better Eastern Shore (CBES) cancelled their candidate forums after unfounded accusations of political bias from some candidates. The Rev. Rick Willis, a member of the Eastern Shore Chapter of Virginia Organizing, released the following statement on behalf of the chapter:
“As one of the sponsors for the school board forum, the Eastern Shore Chapter of Virginia Organizing is deeply disappointed the event scheduled for October 12 at Arcadia High School has been cancelled. When an educational event such as the candidates’ forums falls victim to petty politics, it does not hurt the sponsors. Unfortunately, the real victims are voters who were denied the opportunity of hearing directly from the candidates on how they would approach, vote on, and support the myriad of issues facing our educational system that impact our students and parents, teachers, staff, administration, and our communities.
“CBES and their partners for the 2023 forums—Virginia Organizing, Pi Epsilon Omega Chapter, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Beta Alpha Pi Zeta Chapter, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., and Accomack-Northampton Alumnae Chapter Delta Sigma Theta Society, Inc. —have enviable track records of positive community efforts and civic engagement on the Eastern Shore. However, despite the assurance of a non-partisan, wholly educational event, the sponsors were falsely accused of having a partisan political agenda, discrediting the purpose, structure, and people involved in presenting the forums.”
To interview a spokesperson from Virginia Organizing, please contact Justin Nick at firstname.lastname@example.org.