Moderators of a youth-sponsored forum prepare to quiz candidates for local offices on Thursday at Seattle City Hall.
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Moderators of a youth-sponsored forum prepare to quiz candidates for local offices on Thursday at Seattle City Hall.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

Youths grill Seattle area candidates in forum

It was a tough crowd Thursday night at Seattle City Hall.

Young voters from several local community groups organized a forum for candidates for city and county elections.

Candidates for Seattle School Board, Port of Seattle commissioner, City Council and King County Council took questions aimed at issues facing young men and woman who often find themselves on the outside of the conversation.

A big one: “How do we end the school to prison to deportation pipeline?”

School board candidate Molly Mitchell told the crowd that every student she talks to in prison can pinpoint the day school failed them. “One of my students said to me, 'I was suspended in seventh grade and I never went back.'”

Mitchell is running for school board in District 6.

Marcel Jones said she appreciated when moderators of Thursday's event pushed back when candidates gave non-answers. “'Cause we don’t want the candidates to sugar-coat their answers.”

Feedback was instant. A youth panel held up emoji signs.

Audience members could participate electronically, their questions and comments displayed on a large screen. Participants were given just a minute to respond.

Some port commissioner candidates earned poop emojis for their answers about helping young people get access to jobs at the port.

Correction, 8:50 a.m., 8/26/2019: An earlier version of this story misidentified candidate Molly Mitchell.