Sub/Urban Justice Youth leaders share their experiences at the Governor’s Forum

Blog post by Mary, ’17 Cambridge

Yesterday, I spent two hours of my life listening to the gubernatorial candidates not answer questions we worked so hard to hear them answer. We sat there listening to them go on and on about how great it was for us to be involved and asking for more jobs, for more youth programs, for trying to hold them accountable. But what we really didn’t hear was how they were really going to do this, why it mattered to them, and why we could trust them. When it was our turn to hear our question answered, the only candidate who actually did it was Baker. He was the same candidate who didn’t commit until the last minute and left an hour early. Nevertheless, he answered the question by promising to not raise taxes and reallocate money for what we wanted. One check mark for Baker for answering, but we might as well take away that check mark away because the flat tax is still not fair, whereas the progressive tax is. And we can take another check mark away for leaving early. Baker: -1✔

Then we have the other candidates who just did not answer the question. Let’s take away one check mark from Coakley, Falchuck, and McCormick! And in addition to that, we should also take away a check mark from Coakley and McCormick who left as soon as the debate was over. For a lady who seemed so proud of us, she didn’t seem to want to actually talk to us one-on-one. We can also take another check mark away from McCormick who stayed around, but didn’t stay around to actually talk to the rest of us youth. So, Coakley: -2 ✔, McCromick:  -✔. However, even though Falchuck did not answer the question, he did stay around to talk to us youth. I decided to use that as an opportunity to get him to answer the question. When I told him that he did not answer the question about progressive revenue, he seemed to agree and then answered it within 10 seconds. He apologized for not answering the question because there was a lack of time, but with the 90 seconds he was given, he used it to talk about other things that were not relevant to that question. I told him that, and he again apologized. Apologizing does not eliminate the fact that you did not answer the question (he seemed to be for progressive taxation); apologizing is an excuse for not doing what you should have done. So, although he did answer and stuck around, Falchuck gets a  -0.5✔.

Overall, I think all the candidates suck. They only perpetuated my vision of politicians who will applaud you on all the work you have done and agree to do certain things, but at the end of the day, see you as less-than. The way they talked to us and how they interacted made me feel like I was a child, not a powerful activist-youth. Until I see a politician who will treat me as an equal, not only applauding but supporting us in our work, and explains to us how they will do the things they have promised to do, I will not trust them with my state.

Blog post by Tenzin Nangsel, ’17, Cambridge

Hi I’m Tenzin and I was at the governors forum listening to the people running for state governor talk about the youth and answering questions about the youth.  I don’t see the bad in something until someone points out a flaw. In the end, I saw tons of flaws last night after listening to my peers. I definitely felt a little disappointed that Charlie Baker left before the meeting was over, like it literally ended 13 to 22 minutes after he left. Otherwise his answers seemed alright. The candidates all agreed to do everything and one especially said that our problems were easy to wipe away or ignore, so what’s gonna stop them from doing that to us when one of them are elected? They could just as easily deny our needs and find other “useful” things to spend “their” money on. I sincerely hope that they hold their promises, make their time spent yesterday useful, and take action on our problems within the youth community.

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