I am discouraged that Elizabeth Hardesty has declined an opportunity to participate in a Mayoral Candidate Forum expressly for African Americans, millennials and their allies. I am one of the organizers of this forum, which is co-sponsored by the Lima African American Chamber of Commerce, Millenial Action Pact, Our Revolution Lima, and Allen and Hardin for Election Action and Democracy (the group I’m affiliated with).
On March 10, we invited Ms. Hardesty to participate in the forum, scheduled for March 25. On March 19, we received a message from her campaign spokesman, Kurt Neeper, stating that she has a conflict. We asked her for her available dates, so that we could reschedule, and have not heard back from her.
The other candidates for mayor, Joshua Hayes, Sharetta Smith, and Autumn Swanson, all replied in a timely manner and accepted the invitation. Candidates for mayor need to speak to, and hear from, those whom they would represent. We urge Ms. Hardesty to commit to a date, so that we can hold this vital discussion of Lima’s future.