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Tonight in Grove Hall: Mayoral forum minus one

Jackson will show, Walsh won't

Yawu Miller
Yawu Miller
Yawu Miller is the Banner’s senior editor. VIEW BIO
Tonight in Grove Hall: Mayoral forum minus one

Turned out by the Prince Hall Grand Lodge venue that agreed to host their mayoral forum, organizers of the We Decide Coalition say they will go forward with the event in a new venue.

Coalition members will convene in front of the Grove Hall Masonic lodge, then walk to the new venue where community residents will have the opportunity to discuss issues central to the 2017 mayoral campaign with candidate Tito Jackson.

“Just because the mayor won’t show and the venue felt it necessary to cancel our forum doesn’t mean the community shouldn’t have a voice,” said coalition member Cheryl Crawford, who heads the MassVOTE nonprofit.

The event will be hosted by Karen Holmes Ward, WCVB’s Director of Public Affairs and Community Services and the host and executive producer of CityLine. The venue will be a short walk from the Masonic lodge in Grove Hall, but Crawford isn’t saying where.

“We don’t want to be shut out again,” she said. “We’ve spent a lot of time and resources making this event happen.”

The organizers planned the forum in June, inviting all four mayoral candidates to come, should they make the cut in the Sept. 26 preliminary. After the preliminary, however, Walsh agreed to just two debates, the second of which was held Tuesday at WGBH.

Crawford says she’s confident turnout will be strong for tonight’s forum, despite the venue change. Coalition members have been reaching out to voters with phone banks and flyers at homes and churches.

“We may not get 600 people tonight, but I’m confident we’ll have 300,” she said.