Earlier this month, the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce hosted the biennial Candidate Forum at the University of Miami.
All eight candidates vying for mayor or city commissioner participated in an event we’ve held for more than 20 years.
But this year, and for the first time in our community, all eight signed a Positive Campaign Pledge, committing to conduct their respective campaigns in a constructive and honest manner.
In an era of soft-money Political Action Committees, surrogate spokespersons and nameless organizations attacking candidates, we asked all of the candidates to rise above the rhetoric and political norm that we’ve unfortunately grown numb to, because we as a community have higher expectations for our city leadership and believe wholeheartedly that they should be held to a higher standard, even before election day.
Positively, all eight candidates accepted our plea, signed the pledge and agreed to remain honest, fair and focused on the substantive issues important to the citizens and business community of Coral Gables. This is a huge win for our City Beautiful.
Our chamber remains committed to hosting these forums every other year as a service to the greater community, covering the cost to plan and host.
For more than 90 years, we have been a highly local, non-partisan, nonprofit business association that studies and endorses issues, not candidates.
Yet, we do believe it is our role to help stage these community gatherings and to allow our citizens and business leaders access to those running for elected office.
The onus is now on us as voters, and much like the residential community, the business community expects much from our elected leaders. It is our most important duty and most cherished right.
President & CEO,
Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce