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We Sponsor and Host Debates

The Commission on Local Debates (CLD) was established as a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization to set a higher standard for debates in local races. Our primary purpose is to sponsor and produce debates that meet voter education and accessibility criteria to ensure that every citizen has the opportunity to see and hear those running to represent them.

Our Mission: A Higher Standard

Debates are a meaningful platform for candidates to distinguish themselves from their opponents by demonstrating their aptitude for office and political ideology. The Commission on Local Debates thus aims to strengthen this voter communication channel to create a better informed local electorate.

Our Process

Select Your State

Our operations and growth rely heavily on our state boards. These organizations are responsible for not only hosting debates for state-wide elected positions, but also assist in maintaining and growing their county chapters. To begin exploring the Commission on Local Debates in your area, find and click your state below.

AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY DC

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Your state hasn’t launched an active board. Not to worry – you can be the founder! We are looking for a dedicated group of community-focused professionals that can lead a Commission on Local Debates board in your state. Sound like you?

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FAQ

What is the difference between a “State Board” and a “County Chapter”? 2017-08-14T20:38:49+00:00

When the Commission on Local Debates expands to a new state, a “State Board” is first established. The responsibility of each State Board is to develop and maintain “County Chapters” in their state. Additionally, they are responsible for sponsoring and/or producing debates for statewide elections.

The Commission on Local Debates aims to grow into each county within active states. County Chapters are largely independent of the State Board –  Chapters have their own board of directors and fundraising goals but are nonetheless united in upholding the CLD mission and standards for the local debates they encompass.

How does the CLD remain nonpartisan? 2017-08-14T20:30:51+00:00

The CLD remains nonpartisan by maintaining a board of directors membership ratio that is equal parts Republican and Democrat, with an odd number and at least 10% of the overall board not being affiliated with either of those parties. All board members are required to have maintained their current party affiliation for at least two years before joining a local and/or state board.

For example, if a board of directors has five Republican members, it also must have five Democratic board members.  There must also be an odd number (one, three, five, etc.) third party or independent board member that serve as tie breaking vote.

How is the CLD funded? 2017-08-14T20:31:12+00:00

The CLD receives no funding from the government or any political party, political action committee or candidate. The CLD obtains the funds required to produce its debates and to support its ongoing voter education activities from the communities that host the debates and, to a lesser extent, from corporate, foundation and private donors. Donors have no input into the management of any of the CLD’s activities and have no input into the process by which the CLD selects debate participants.

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