Culpeper Youth Council to host candidate’s forum


The Culpeper Youth Council will host a candidate’s forum Monday, Oct. 2 at Eastern View High School’s forum from 6 to 8 p.m.

CYC president Riley Reynolds said the forum – which will include candidates for 30th District Delegate and School Board – is important to the organization to show that teens care about politics and the community around them.

“We wanted to have the forum so students who may be voting soon can ask questions to be more informed,” Reynolds said.

She said teens in the organization are concerned about bullying and how the school system can address the issue and about uniform school start times the general assembly is discussing.

She said students also expressed concerns about Deferred Action for Immigrant Child Arrivals.

“We believe that some of our fellow students will be affected but we want to hear more about the law,” Reynolds said.

She said that the forum is being presented so teens can step up and ask questions of the delegates and school board candidates.

“We want teens to know they can make a difference,” Reynolds said.

Questions were created by the council breaking into small groups to jot dot questions, but pointed out that candidates will not see questions ahead of time.

Culpeper Town Council member Jamie Clancey, who helped form the youth council, said that the forum is simply part of the mission to integrate the youth with government in the community.

She hasn’t been surprised by the response, as many teens want to be involved and learn about the laws that are created for their community.

“We’re trying to help the youth feel empowered,” Clancey said. “I threw out the possibility of a forum and they took it and ran with it. When kids are given platform, they use it.”

Delegate candidates that will appear at the forum include Democrat Ben Hixon and Republican incumbent Nick Freitas. School board members who will be present include Stevensburg candidates Elizabeth Hutchins and Marshall Keene and Cedar Mountain candidate Betsy Smith. Jefferson District candidate Michelle North is unable to attend due to scheduling conflicts.

Claney said any youth grades 7-12 interested in joining the council can visit and the group meets the second Wednesday of every month form 6z;30 to 8 at Culpeper Baptist Church.

Reynolds said she expects a good turnout for the forum, as teens have a will to learn about government.

“It’s going to a good time for us to get together as a group and use this opportunity to learn,” Reynolds said. “Very soon we’re all going to be entering the real world and we have to be prepared for it.”

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Jeff Say is the editor for the Culpeper Times. He can be reached at