“The People’s Debate: Tackling State and National Issues with Your Questions” on Nov. 2

Many voters feel left out and that candidates for office show little real concern for the issues that affect them in their communities. 

Virginia is one of only two states that will elect a governor in 2017. Just days before Virginia’s statewide elections, the Wilder School will host a forum on Thursday, November 2, addressing crucial issues facing the voters. 

“The People’s Debate: Tackling State and National Issues with Your Questions” will be led by L. Douglas Wilder, former Virginia governor and distinguished professor at the Wilder School, and Robert D. Holsworth, Ph.D., noted political analyst and former dean of the College of Humanities and Sciences at VCU. 

Panelists who will offer their insights are: 

  • Cordel L. Faulk, J.D., assistant dean and chief admissions officer at the University of Virginia School of Law and former director of communications, media and research for the university’s Center for Politics.
  • Rachel Bitecofer, Ph.D., assistant director of the Judy Ford Wason Center for Public Policy and lecturer in government at Christopher Newport University.
  • J. Lee Vogler, a member of Danville City Council who in 2012 at age 24 was the youngest person ever elected to that position. 
  • Kristine Artello, J.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of Criminal Justice at the Wilder School who previously worked as a social worker-attorney.

“The question is how we can involve voters in real conversations that have impact,” said Governor Wilder. “That’s why this forum is so important.”

“The Wilder School is very pleased to host this event,” said John Accordino, Ph.D., FAICP, dean of the Wilder School. “Our mission is to teach state and local leadership today, and one way we do that is by convening the community and facilitating the exchange of ideas.” 

The event will take place at the W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts, 922 Park Avenue, starting at 7 p.m.  It is free and open to the public.

We are soliciting your input; if you have a question you would like us to consider, please email it to

For more information, please contact Angelica Bega at (804) 828-8520 or

The hashtag for the event is #wilderforum, and you can RSVP on Facebook.