Forum seeks to involve youth in local elections is your source for free local news and information in Virginia Beach

Local high school and college students will have a chance to talk about the issues with Virginia Beach mayoral and city council candidates on Oct. 29. (Photo courtesy MYLA/City of Virginia Beach)
Local high school- and college students will have a chance to talk about the issues with Virginia Beach mayoral and city council candidates on Oct. 29 at Salem Middle School.
(Photo courtesy MYLA/City of Virginia Beach)

If you’re a young person with big ideas, candidates for local office in Virginia Beach want to hear from you.

During an Oct. 29 forum at Salem Middle School, high school- and college-age students will be invited to interact with Mayor Will Sessoms and other candidates running for mayor and city council in November.

The forum will allow students to learn about and discuss the candidates’ campaign platforms, with the hope that they will be encouraged to become involved in local elections.

The event is called the Youth I.D.E.A. Political Forum, with the initials standing for Influence, Discover, Empower, and Act. It is being presented by members of Mayor’s Youth Leaders in Action, a group organized by the Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation Department.

The forum will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the middle school.

Young adults between the ages of 14 and 21 will have the chance to speak with local political candidates about the issues that matter most to them.

During the forum, there will be breakout sessions, lunch and a question-and-answer session that will include student-based questions. Participating students will earn community service hours while gaining valuable experience.

Participation in the forum is limited to the first 150 people who register at this link: Registration. The deadline to register is Oct. 21.

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Joan Quigley is a former Miami Herald business reporter, a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and an attorney. Her writing has appeared in the Washington Post,, and Talking Points Memo. Her recent book, Just Another Southern Town: Mary Church Terrell and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Nation’s Capital, was shortlisted for the 2017 Mark Lynton History Prize. Her first book, The Day the Earth Caved In: An American Mining Tragedy, won the 2005 J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award.