CLEVELAND — A Cleveland City Council candidate voiced her disapproval with the COVID-19 precautions put in place for a voter education event held by the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland.
Ward 12 candidate Shalira Taylor said voters were told they could not attend a forum to meet Ward 12 candidates in person if they were not vaccinated against COVID-19. Taylor said even though she has not received the vaccine, she was still invited to participate. She told News 5 that she doesn’t think that's fair, so she held a rally Tuesday night outside of the event with about a dozen others who held signs in protest.
“The fact that they would let me in but not let the other residents in causes a problem for me, too,” Taylor said. “This is a slippery slope in which we are going down now with the League of Women Voters and other organizations that might try to pull this.”
The League of Women Voters said a different candidate made the request to require vaccination because of the size of the venue and ventilation concerns. The request was then communicated to guests.
The League of Women Voters said everyone was allowed to attend the event virtually.
The organization released the following statement:
"We considered how best to handle the possibility of an unvaccinated candidate. We have concluded that we should not exclude that candidate, if the candidate wants to appear. However, that candidate will be asked to wear a mask for the duration of the event.
"There are well-publicized instances of unmasked people spreading COVID, in particular the delta variant, to those around them. We think that a mask requirement, in this instance, is reasonable.
"We do feel that in-person candidate events have value, and we are doing our best to conduct such events safely in the ongoing pandemic. We had planned an in-person candidate forum in Cleveland Heights a few weeks ago, but due to the delta surge we converted that event from in-person to virtual on short notice. So we do not have an unvarying policy on candidate events; we are working to serve voters as best we can."
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