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Members of the Arkansas Valley Indivisible are calling their Tuesday evening candidate forum what they hope it will become – a Blue Wave Candidate Forum. The free candidate forum will begin at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18, at A Church, 419 D St., in Salida and will include presentations by four candidates running for county and state office.

While organizers say the forum will include candidates running for other municipal and county offices, the featured speakers will be four candidates, all women. Making presentations of their qualifications for office and presenting their positions on the issues will be Kimberly Parker, candidate for Chaffee County commissioner, Erin Kelley candidate for Colorado House of Representatives. Also presenting will be Kerry Donovan, who is running for re-election as state senator, and Stephany Rose Spaulding, a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives.

The forum has been organized by a newcomer to the county political scene: Arkansas Valley Indivisible. The organization formed after the 2016 general election as one of some 6,000 chapters that sprang up across the nation. All of them formed after a Google doc known as the “Action Guide” began to circulate, including a couple of early Indivisible groups in Chaffee County that have come together in one loose, grassroots county-wide structure.

“Everyone was action-oriented and concerned about issues like women’s rights,” said Arkansas Valley Indivisible member Irv Broudy, explaining the effort. “This thing just caught on like wildfire and has swept across the nation. We all share this critical need for civility to apply to our election process. Debate and facts should be available to the voting public for voters to make informed decisions.”

Broudy and fellow Arkansas Valley Indivisible member Ann Marie Swan stressed the grassroots nature of what both refer to as a movement.

“This is local, concerned people working on things that are our priorities right here where we live,” said Swan. “We all want to contribute. We’ll work phone banks, knock on doors, probably try to help encourage young people who have moved here to get registered. And, of course, doing this forum lets the people here know where these candidates stand.”