First candidate forum for the Iowa City Council special election will have a unique format

Coffee with Dan: Conversation with the Candidates

The Mill — Monday, Aug. 20 from 5-7 p.m.

The five candidates for Iowa City Council (from left): Ryan Hall, Brianna Wills, Christine Ralston, Bruce Teague and Ann Freerks.

It’s only appropriate that in a somewhat unusual election, the election’s first candidates forum would also be somewhat unusual. So, instead of the audience submitting questions and candidates reciting answers, the candidates will be asking questions and listening to answers of people attending the forum at The Mill on Monday.

Conversation with the Candidates will be hosted by its organizer, Daniel Boscaljon. Boscaljon, a frequent contributor to Little Village, explained in an email that the structure of the forum is designed to facilitate a conversation between the candidates and the audience about “politics in terms of vision and character.”

“By character, I mean the habits and contingent circumstances that shape who each of us becomes,” Boscaljon said. “By vision, I mean the values that inform what particular good things are most important to emphasize when thinking about the future of Iowa City. Both are important because even when the visions are similar, the distinct character affects how each candidate translates that vision into reality.”

All five candidates — Ryan Hall, Brianna Wills, Christine Ralston, Bruce Teague and Ann Freerks — have agreed to participate in the forum. Boscaljon will begin with a brief conversation with each candidate, as a way of introducing the candidate to the audience. The candidate will then have an opportunity to ask the audience questions, and Boscaljon will moderate a discussion between audience members and the candidates based on those questions.

The two-hour forum will begin at 5 p.m., and is free and open to the public.

Conversation with the Candidates will also serve as a kick-off to the series of public conservations Boscaljon will be hosting called “Coffee with Dan.”

“My hope is that this series will create the space for a community of thoughtful individuals who share my value of living well with others and my interest in exploring difficult questions in respectful and empowering ways,” he said.

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