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By Helen Silvis of The Skanner News
Published: 05 November 2012

Multnomah Youth Commission held a candidate forum last Thursday evening at Benson High School. Mayoral candidates Charlie Hales and Jefferson Smith and City Commissioner candidates Amanda Fritz and Mary Nolan came to speak to students in a round table format.

About 150-200 students attended for at least part of the event. Benson High School evening scholars arrived after their classes finished. Students asked questions about everything from youth bus passes to job creation.  Most were under 18 so they can't vote in the election, but the forum offered students an opportunity to vote. The results weren't an official endorsement, but the students present favored Jefferson Smith in the mayor's race and Amanda Fritz for city commissioner.

Daniel Lusk, from State Farm Insurance was there to present Multnomah Youth Commission with a check from State Farm's Youth Advisory Board. The giant check was also for a giant amount, $99,996. The money will help Youth Against Violence put on the second-annual Rob Ingram Youth Summit Against Violence, set for March 16 at the Ambridge Event Center, 1333 N.E. Martin Luther King Boulevard.

The award was part of $3.9 million distributed to 68 service learning projects across the country. The grants are decided by a group of 30 youth from all over the United States, who sit on State Farm's Advisory Board.

Losk said he was very impressed with Multnomah Youth Commissioners and with the turnout at the event.  

"The commission does amazing work," Losk said.

"More than 100 submissions were received, and the students read through them all and deliberated. They selected Multnomah Youth Commission because it is such an inspiring project. "

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