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Helen Silvis of The Skanner News
Published: 13 April 2012

Multnomah Youth Commission's candidate forum attracted almost every likely winner in Portland City Council's upcoming elections, and plenty of likely runners-up. Held at David Douglas High School, Wednesday April 11, students turned out in force to ask questions, express their views and vote for their preferred candidates.

It's not often that you'll see Charlie Hales sitting with Trey Arrow.

Candidates sat at designated tables and answered student questions about policy. The students moved tables at the end of each timed discussion session. Youth commissioners moderated the question and answer sessions.

Public safety was a key issue for several students. One student said she knew 15 youth who had encountered violence in recent weeks, including one who had been shot.

More than one candidate – not household names— used the occasion to lecture youth about the "real" world, and how they should forget about fripperies such as the youth commission's "Our Bill of Rights."

After all, you won't be young for too much longer, said one. Portland, however, may be getting younger. About 25 percent of city residents are under 25 years old.

A vote held at the meeting, revealed who made the best case in the eyes of the students who attended. The vote does not equal an endorsement by the youth commission.

Winner of the mayor vote was Jefferson Smith. City Commissioner seat 1 was a tie between Amanda Fritz and Mary Nolan. City Commissioner seat 4 went to Jeri Williams.
More stories: Youth programs slated for big cuts in city budget

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