The third annual Minority Chambers Candidates Forum was held on October 4 in the Forum of the Ernst Center on the Annandale Campus. Sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the Annandale Campus’ 50th Anniversary Committee, the event was hosted by the Multicultural Chamber Alliance, composed of the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Asian-American Chamber of Commerce and the Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce.
This was the third time that the minority Chambers of Commerce hosted the event in the Forum, which provides an opportunity for citizens to meet candidates from the House of Delegates and Virginia Senate from throughout Northern Virginia in a casual setting and hear them make short statements about their candidacies.
Annandale Interim Provost Charlotte Calobrisi made welcoming remarks at the beginning of the evening and the event was moderated this year by Annandale Liberal Arts Associate Dean Hemchand Gossai.
“We are pleased to sponsor the forum,” Calobrisi stated in her remarks, “because it allows the public to have direct contact with the candidates who are running for office to represent them and that is the embodiment of representative democracy.”
“This College was founded 50 years ago and from those very first days our mission has been to serve the educational needs of the entire Northern Virginia region,” she said. “It is with that in mind that we sponsor this forum as a way to educate the community about the candidates running for the House of Delegates and Senate of Virginia.”
“The three organizing Chambers of Commerce knew the importance of such a gathering and the commitment to the common welfare of the community was clearly on display as the candidates outlined ideas that matter,” Gossai stated.
There were 28 candidates for the House of Delegates and Virginia Senate who attended, including two third party candidates. Candidates for other offices, including those running for Fairfax County constitutional offices, school board and the Board of Supervisors were present, too. Michael Zajur, founder and CEO of the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and a member of the State Board for Community Colleges from Midlothian, also attended.