Candidate Forums: Why it’s important for young people to get involved

Seattle City Council elections are coming up! Candidate forums are a great way to get to know your district candidates, what their platforms are, and how they will work for the people if elected. Candidate forums provide constituents the chance to ask questions and create a space for conversation about the wants of the people and the goals of those that are running for elected office. To get young people involved in this political process, it’s important to make these forums free, well-advertised, and designed to engage and encourage the public to vote.

Organizing candidate forums that make politics exciting and engaging specifically for young people is a huge part of increasing young voter turnout and making the political arena a more accessible space. I benefit from candidate forums as settings where I can be comfortable approaching candidates directly. Being at forums with other young people is an easy way for me to learn about the stances of candidates on the issues that I care about. Ultimately, forums help me better choose who I should vote for. Youth-oriented candidate forums also let candidates know about the issues that young people in their district care about and gives them an opportunity to speak to them directly about their platform. Overall, candidate forums for young people that subvert traditional forums will get young people more involved in politics, which is what the Bus is all about!

– Emily Fortier, Fellowship Class of 2019