19 candidates show to discuss politics, policy and student issues
Trilogy Wine Bar and Lounge was filled with light-hearted political excitement Wednesday night as New Era Colorado hosted a “Meet the Candidates” forum.
In a setting more like a comedy club than a political debate, young voters were given the opportunity to interact with Boulder City Council candidates on a personal and non-partisan level.
“This is a really good opportunity for students to become involved,” said freshman pre-journalism major Jacob Elyachar.
The event wasn’t a typical Democrat vs. Republican debate. Instead, it was political enthusiasm geared toward encouraging young people to get excited about voting in the Boulder City Council election.
“We’re a general political engagement organization”, said Steve Fenberg of New Era Colorado. “We want to be an outlet for young people to be politically involved.”
Nineteen of the 22 candidates running for Boulder City Council appeared at the open forum.
“I hope you’ll engage with [the candidates] tonight,” Boulder City Mayor Mark Ruzzin said.
The evening began with introductions from each candidate. The crowd learned the candidate’s name, favorite mode of transportation, and what the candidate ate for breakfast.
Students cheered for candidates who said they walked or used public transportation to get around town.
Each candidate then received a question to answer. Topics ranged from carbon emissions and environmental policies to the recent opening of the Century Theatres.
Many questions also addressed issues specific to the CU campus.
City Council candidate Shawn Coleman was asked how CU students can peacefully interact with residential families in Boulder.
“The reality is that college kids are going to be college kids,” Coleman said. “What we really need is dialogue between students and the families that live in neighborhoods. It really does take personal responsibility on the part of the students.”
Other candidates focused on making students feel as if they are a part of the city.
“City Council must work with CU to welcome all students”, City Council candidate Nabil Karkamaz said.
Karkamaz emphasized how the council should work with local businesses to provide affordable housing for students.
Candidates themselves strongly encouraged students to become politically active.
“Events like this are very important for getting the vote out,” City Council candidate Alan O’Hashi said. “I don’t know what else to say other than to get out there and vote! We all want to hear from you.”
The night finished with each of the candidates using fun props such as jump ropes, stick horses, and dog leashes to creatively say what they would do if elected to Boulder City Council.
“I wish more students could come to this event and meet these candidates,” Elyachar said.
Visit the 2007 election Web site for a list of the City Council candidates.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Katherine Spencer at Katherine.firstname.lastname@example.org.