The Chelsea Black Community (CBC) has become a highly visible and active organization since its inception four years ago under the direction of President Joan Cromwell.
The CBC has drawn large crowds to its events and it has assumed a major leadership role in the city’s celebration of Black History Month in February.
Now Cromwell and the CBC are entering the election arena as the sponsor of a Candidates Forum to be held Weds., June 27, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Chelsea Senior Center. The five candidates for the Democratic nomination for Suffolk County District Attorney, EvandroCarvalho, Linda Champion, Gregory Henning, Shannon McAuliffe, and Rachael Rollins have all accepted the CBC’s invitation to participate in a panel discussion and question-and-answer forum with the audience.
Congressman Michael Capuano and Boston City Councilor-at-Large Ayanna Pressley, candidate for the Seventh Congressional Seat, were invited to participate in the Congressional Candidates’ portion of the forum.
Cromwell stated that Pressley will participate, while Capuano informed the CBC that he will be in session in Washington and unable to attend the forum.
Sharon McAuliffe, associate dean at Bunker Hill Community College, will serve as moderator of the forum.
Cromwell said the CBC decided to hold the forum after some of the candidates for the DA position reached out to the organization. Sensing a heightened interest in the contest due to DA Dan Conley’s decision not to run for re-election, the CBC opted to invite all five candidates to the city.
“We wanted to be fair and unbiased, so we said, ‘why don’t we just host a candidates’ forum’ so they can all have equal time with the community to get their points across,” said Cromwell.
The CBC president, a member of a long-time and well-known Chelsea family, said there are many issues in the news including immigration, the legalization of recreational marijuana in Massachusetts, and substance abuse.
“There are so many things affecting our community that we felt it was important to educate and inform the voter that there are many candidates that are running for district attorney,” said Cromwell. “It’s a perfect opportunity for the people of Chelsea to have a conversation with the candidates, as well as to become knowledgeable about the election before they go in to the voting booth.”
Questions for the forum are being sent to the CBC by local organizations such as Roca, the Youth Commission, the Chelsea Chamber of Commerce, and the Jordan Girls and Boys Club, among other groups.
Caulfield will have three questions for each of the candidates. The second half of the forum will be pre-selected questions from the audience.
If past CBC events are an indication, the Candidates Forum will be professionally done and well attended – and yes, Joan Cromwell said there will be great refreshments, something else for which the CBC has also become known.
“We need the public to be a part of the forum and meet the candidates,” said Cromwell. “We encourage the whole community to be there on June 27 at the Chelsea Senior Center.”