Home > elections > Redwood ACLU to hold Eureka School Board candidate debate

Redwood ACLU to hold Eureka School Board candidate debate

[Press Release.]

The Redwood Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is holding a Candidates’ Debate on Civil Liberties for the candidates for Eureka School Board, to be held on Wednesday, October 26th from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on live television — Access Humboldt Channel 11 — out of the Community Media Center studio at Eureka High School.

This debate will be held before a televised audience and in cooperation with independent producers working with Access Humboldt it will also be aired several times on public access Channels 11 & 12 and will likewise be available for later viewing on-line.

The debate will be moderated by Redwood ACLU Boardmember and Eureka resident Xandra Manns, and shall be staffed by other members of the Board of Directors of the Redwood ACLU, although any persons who have made any sort of campaign contribution or endorsement of any of the candidates in this year’s election are excluded from involvement.

“The debate allows the voters to get a handle on what the candidates have to say in this important election,” Redwood ACLU Chair Greg Allen said.

Unlike previous ACLU debates, one of the candidates for this public office has so far indicated their unwillingness to participate. Judy Anderson, the incumbent running for re-election to the Eureka School Board, sent the Redwood Chapter an e-mail indicating her decline of the invitation.

She wrote: “I believe an open format debate with questions coming from a live audience provides a fairer forum,” even though, like the League of Women Voter’s forums traditionally broadcast live on KEET TV, there will be a live television audience calling in their questions for the candidates.

“To even say that is patently absurd,” Allen retorted. “History has shown that the debates we sponsor have been unbiased and impartial.”

The Board of Directors of the Redwood ACLU met last week and unanimously determined to hold the debate regardless. There will be a chair held open for Judy Anderson; the other candidate, Susan Johnson, has already agreed to appear and participate without any demands to change the debate format.

The Redwood ACLU held the only televised debate for all candidates for the Northern Humboldt High School District in 2005 at the Senior Room of the Arcata Community Center, and has also presented civil liberties-oriented forums for local city council races over the last seven years. In 2010, the Redwood ACLU hosted two televised debates, in both the primary and general elections, for all of the candidates running for District Attorney of Humboldt County — the October 2010 run-off debate between Paul Gallegos and Allison Jackson was the first live event to be televised from the Access Humboldt studio at Eureka High School. The Redwood ACLU, based in Eureka with over 850 members across the North Coast, is a non-partisan organization that never endorses or opposes candidates for public office.

The format of the debate will start with opening statements and an airing of the candidate’s views on questions posed by the moderator concerning civil liberties issues in Humboldt County. All other questions will be posed by phone-in questions from the television audience, followed by closing statements. Each candidate will have the opportunity to issue rebuttals to the statements of others.

Members of the press or public with questions may contact the Redwood ACLU at (707) 442-4419 or redwoodaclu@hotmail.com, or drop by our office at 917 Third Street in Old Town Eureka.

  1. Anonymous
    October 25, 2011 at 8:09 pm
  2. Anon
    October 26, 2011 at 9:26 am


  3. Axel
    October 26, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Why waste time on a school board election? I don’t blame her for not wanting to participate. Much ado about nothing.

  4. Anonymous
    October 26, 2011 at 11:15 am

    Susan Johnson told the PTA meeting last night that the debate was cancelled.

  5. skippy
    October 26, 2011 at 11:32 am

    Granted, running for school board isn’t always the sexiest issue on the block. Nonetheless, the real story here is contained in Charles Douglas’ Humboldt Sentinel simple headline:

    “Judy Anderson to Duck Debate: Redwood ACLU Hosts Eureka School Board Televised Forum With or Without Incumbent”

    Or, as Mr. Douglas noted: “This time, however, it appears one (incumbent) of the candidates (Judy Anderson) is running for office and running away from a televised forum — even one that is taking place on school grounds.”

    It begs the question: If the school board incumbent running for office is unwilling to discuss or debate issues, do they truly deserve your vote to be elected?

    The forum, even a one-way one, will take place tonight, Oct. 26 from 7 to 8 p.m. on Access Humboldt Channel 11, and will take audience questions…”

    I’ll be curious to see if Ms. Anderson is absent and her chair empty tonight– and whether or not she’ll choose to dismiss and snub the voters of our community. If so, perhaps Ms. Anderson should be dismissed for having a lack of class.

  6. Anonymous
    October 26, 2011 at 11:39 am

    I’ve been looking forward to getting more info about the two candidates so that I can make a more informed choice. I just read in the T-S today that Judy Anderson is refusing to participate in the ACLU debate.

    Not good, Judy! What are you afraid of? A question you can’t answer?

    You’ve lost my vote right there, on principle.

  7. Apologist Not
    October 26, 2011 at 11:47 am

    She’s taken the trouble to organize a telephone pole, but not to attend the only scheduled debate.

    If Ms. Anderson can generate a little notoriety from her charade it might be all the name recognition she needs in another low-turnout election.

  8. Anonymous
    October 26, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    High Finance favorite board member chickens out from a debate

  9. Anonymous
    October 26, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    Isn’t High Finance’s favorite board member himself?

  10. High Finance
    October 26, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    I am a board member of a non profit and yes, I am my favorite.

  11. skippy
    October 27, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    Caught the one-sided debate for the Eureka School Board last night.

    Susan Johnson did an adequate job representing and answering the questions posed.

    Incumbent Judy Anderson was a no-show.

  12. Vote for Susan Johnson!
    October 29, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    Unbelieveable… Why would Judy Anderson refuse to show up? Was she uninformed? Arrogant enough to believe she could win without attending the debate? Unengaged? Apathetic? Incompetent? All of the above???

    Any way you slice it, she has no business being on the School Board, let alone sitting at the president.

    Please vote her out!

  13. Leslie
    October 30, 2011 at 6:47 am

    Maybe she just doesn’t want to be associated with that creep Charles Douglas?

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