African American Accountability Alliance
Candidate Endorsement Policy

The African American Accountability Alliance (The 4A’s) through its Elected and Appointed Officials Committee have adopted and are implementing the following plan of screening and endorsing candidates seeking office in the our municipalities, Alachua County and Statewide. The plan is comprised of two primary components.  The first component is a screening process for endorsement of candidates by The 4A’s.

SCREENING PROCESS

Candidates will be invited to present to a panel of The 4A’s members comprised of the chairs and co-chairs of The 4A’s committees.  Each candidate will be provided a time slot of 30 minutes to respond to identified pre-selected questions from the panel.  Candidates will be given 120 seconds for opening statements, and 120 seconds for closing comments.  Panelists will question candidates based upon goals outlined in The 4A’s Strategic Plan that pertain to the area that they are seeking to represent. For example, City Commission questions may include, but are not limited to, Economic Development, Recreation, Funding for Arts and History, Affordable Housing, Energy Conservation, Police and Fire, Annexation, etc. Candidates seeking the office of School Board may be asked questions pertaining to issues outlined in the Education Element of The 4A’s Strategic Plan.

The panel will evaluate each applicant on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest value.  The candidate with the highest composite score will receive the panel’s endorsement.  The candidate selected as #1 will receive a composite score of 45 from the 4A’s selection committee.  The remaining 55 will be proportionately divided among the other candidates.  Second place candidate will receive 30, third place candidate will receive 15 and the remaining 10 will be proportionately divided among the remaining candidates.  Candidates seeking office will not be eligible to participate as members of the panel or in coordination of the process.

FORUM PROCESS


The second component of the endorsement process will be a straw poll taken at the conclusion of the forum process.  The poll shall be conducted by written ballot of members attending the forum.  The 4A’s general body will be given a ballot and will place a check-mark on their candidate.  The ballots will be totaled and the candidate receiving the most votes will receive a composite rating of 55, and the second place candidate will receive 30, third place candidate will receive 15 and the remaining 5 will be proportionately divided among the other candidates.  The candidate with the highest composite score from the Screening and Forum processes will receive the endorsement of the 4A’s group.  A press statement will be prepared following the process by the media committee for public dissemination.  Candidates seeking office will not be eligible to participate as members of the forum panel or in coordination of the process. 

In order to vote in the process, you must have attended at least one 4A’s Summit and ballots will be given at the door to members of the African American Accountability Alliance (4A’s) as determined by past attendance logs. These 4A’s members are the only individuals eligible to participate in the voting process.  Panelists for the forum are selected from the 4A’s general body.

The candidate forums will be conducted at a location in East Gainesville. The rules for all candidate forums will be as follows:

Political Forum Guidelines

  1. The order of questions will be determined alphabetically.
  2. Time limits on responses will be strictly observed.  The time keeper will hold cards, visible to the speaker and moderator, indicating the time status.
  3. The moderator will have responsibility for enforcing time limits.  The moderator will also have the authority to interrupt the proceedings to enforce the ground rules and format.
  4. The panelists and moderator may interrupt the candidate if they believe the candidate is straying from the subject.
  5. Because there is not an opportunity for rebuttal following the closing statements, candidates should refrain from personal attacks or charges.

Political Forum Process

  1. Candidates have a 120 second opening statement.
  2. Panelists will ask questions in 30 seconds.
  3. Candidates have 2 minutes to respond. 
  4. If a candidate references an opponent, the Moderator will ask the opponent if a rebuttal is desired.  There is a one minute time limit on a rebuttal.
  5. The time keeper will use cards to make candidates aware of time limits.  There will be a 90 second card and a 2 minute time limit card shown.

    Special Note:  Upon completion of the 2 minutes allotted the candidate must discontinue their response. At that time the Moderator will ask the candidate if not completed to halt any other comments. 
  6. All candidates must have the expressed written consent of the 4As prior to using 4As name in political ads.
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