The CNS Wants to Provide an Opportunity for the Voters to Hear From Both Candidates
Read the News Press article here: https://newspress.com/coalition-for-neighborhood-schools-tries-to-save-candidate-forum-sbtv-interviews-lozano/
The News-Press originally reported on May 12 that the forum was canceled because Ms. Lozano refused to sign a release form as was stated in a press release from the LWV.
In the release, the league said that Ms. Lozano was told “Our policies and procedures for our Candidate Forum, such as not providing the questions to be asked of each candidate in advance, and not allowing candidates to use excerpts of the recording of the forum rather than using it in its entirety, are in accordance with national and state League of Women Voters policies and procedures. Please be assured that all candidates who participate in our Forums are required to abide by the same policies and procedures,” as was previously reported by the News-Press.
“LWV called me on April 6th to ask me to participate and I responded right away and said yes. They sent me the first release form on April 29th after they publicly announced the forum on or around April 22. They sent me a revised release form May 9th,” Ms. Lozano told the News-Press in an email.
The LWV stated in a press release that the release forms were sent to both candidates on April 27, however emails obtained by the News-Press show that original release form was not sent to Ms. Lozano until April 29. A revised version of the release form was sent on May 9.
Additionally, there were notable differences between the two release forms. The April 29 version read: “I will not in any way, make reference to other candidates or to another candidate’s qualifications, character, or activities – either positively or negatively.”
The revised version sent on May 9 read: “I will not, in any way, make negative reference to other Candidate(s) or their personal qualifications or character. I may state my disagreement with their views on issues or proposed legislation, but only to provide examples of issues on which we disagree. My focus will be on my views, not those of the other Candidate(s). I agree to handle all discussions in a calm, civil manner.”
Ms. Lozano told the news-press that she had been emailing LWV’s Revea Moran and asking clarifying questions concerning the release form.
“Mrs. Moran did not answer any of my specific questions. Instead, she unilaterally set an arbitrary deadline, and even before I could respond, unilaterally canceled the forum and blamed the cancellation on me. I missed the LWV’s short deadline they left in an email at 9:15 a.m. stating the 10 a.m. deadline they gave me which would generate cancellation of the forum, their call, not mine, that conflicted with a meeting I was having with supporters,” said Ms. Lozano.
In a voicemail message that Ms. Lozano received from Ms. Moran on May 10, Ms. Moran gave her a deadline of 10 a.m. the next day to make a decision regarding signing the consent form. Ms. Moran told Ms. Lozano that if they did not hear from her by the deadline that they would go live on the zoom link and say “If you are tuning in for the candidate forum, we had to cancel it, because Christy Lozano declined to participate.”
Later in the message, Ms. Moran told Ms. Lozano to “give me a call by 10 a.m. tomorrow and if I don’t hear from you by then I am going to assume that you are not going to participate and we are going to cancel the forum.”
“I have been very busy with my campaign and I could not reply to you sooner. I did hear your voice message and I am a bit confused by the message you left me … That would not be a true statement, as I have not declined to participate. I agreed to participate, and upon our agreement, there was no consent form presented to me. The consent form came after you announced the forum to the public,” said Ms. Lozano in an email she sent to Ms. Moran at 11:01 pm on May 10.
The forum was announced to the public on April 27, but the first release form was not sent to Ms. Lozano until April 29, while the revised release form was sent on May 9.
“Christy Lozano, who would not sign the form, is claiming she was given only 45 minutes to sign it before the decision was made to cancel the May 12 Forum. That isn’t true. She was reminded of the need to sign the Release Form on May 9,” according to a May 13 press release from the LWV.
“I apologize if you have sent it to me and I missed it, but I don’t seem to have the signed release form for you. I need to have the signed form in hand before the Forum on Thursday in order for you to participate. I have attached a copy of the form,” said Mrs. Moran in a May 9 email. The release attached was the revised edition and not the original form sent on April 29.
“If you would still like to participate in our Forum, please sign the release form we sent to you and send it back to me by 10:00 a.m. today. If we do not receive your signed release form by that time, we will assume that you have decided not to participate and we must cancel the Forum,” said Mrs. Moran in a May 11 email sent at 9:06 a.m. to Ms. Lozano.
Roseanne Crawford of the Coalition for Neighborhood Schools (CNS), confirmed Ms. Lozano’s statement of the arbitrary deadline: “The release rules were only sent only one day prior to Ms. Lozano and she was told ‘you have 45 minutes to make a decision, or we will cancel. Ms. Lozano was in a meeting at the time and missed the deadline,” Ms. Crawford told the News-Press.
The CNS is an independent non-profit, and has been for over twenty years. The coalition is not endorsing either candidate but simply wants to provide an opportunity for the voters to hear from both candidates.
When the LWV canceled, the coalition stepped in on Thursday to try to salvage the zoom forum. The coalition reached out to both candidates and Ms. Lozano confirmed right away. Dr. Salcido, though, proved to be unreachable. The coalition reached out to Dr. Salcido, and the request was initially denied by Dr. Salcido’s campaign manager Ruth Loomer, who declined the invitation due to newly made commitments for that evening.
After the initial denial from Ms. Loomer, Ms. Crawford reached out directly to Dr. Salcido:
“I am very disappointed your campaign manager Ruth Loomer has declined our invitation. We would like to hear directly from you Susan …We would need your response no later than 4 p.m. today for tonight’s participation. We have media standing by and have given them the same deadline at 4 p.m. to update that it’s a go for a 6 p.m. Zoom forum. If not tonight please give me a date so we can inform candidate Lozano, she is willing to be flexible and is standing by as well,” said Ms. Crawford in her email to Dr. Salcido.
The coalition did not receive a response from Dr. Salcido by the deadline, and even attempted to reach out to her by phone one more time after the deadline. SBTV offered to do an in-studio interview with Christy Lozano if the Thursday Zoom forum fell through, which it did. The interview with SBTV was originally scheduled for 6 p.m. on Thursday, and then SBTV rescheduled the interview which is now set to be taped at 2 p.m. on Monday. The taped interview will be scheduled to air on TVSB Channel 17 at the following times: Thursday at 2 p.m., Sunday, May 22 at 5 a.m., Monday, May 23, at 11 p.m. and Tuesday, May 24 at 11 a.m.
Moving forward, the Coalition for Neighborhood Schools has invited both candidates to an unbiased, neutral and safe candidate forum at a date of Dr. Salcido’s choosing. Ms. Lozano has agreed to this. Although confirmation of the details of the forum are yet to be determined, awaiting Dr. Salcido’s reply, the Coalition invites the public to submit direct questions to the candidates to email@example.com.
CNS has been hosting candidate forums for the Santa Barbara Unified School District for over 20 years, and says that no candidate has ever declined an invitation from CNS to participate in previous candidate forums. CNS will not endorse a candidate in this election and says it aims to help the two candidates for Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools get their message out to voters in a lively face-to-face encounter.
For more information about our organization, please visit our website at www.coalitionforneighborhoodschools.com.