Kids will ask questions at first governor's debate
The first debate for Oregon governor, set for Oct. 2, breaks new ground because it will be the first time Oregon's children and youth will be asking all the questions. The Debate for Oregon's Future, presented by Children First for Oregon, KOIN 6 and Pamplin Media Group, will allow youths to hold candidates accountable for the issues that matter to them the most.
Joining the young people will be KOIN 6 anchor Jeff Gianola and Portland Tribune education reporter Shasta Kearns Moore. While the journalists will help facilitate the event, 100 percent of the questions will come directly from Oregon youths.
Children First for Oregon, the founding sponsor of the debate, is soliciting applications from children and youth throughout the state who want to participate. Young people in Oregon who want to get involved should go to www.cffo.org/debate. There, young people can submit a question for the candidates and learn how to submit a video of themselves asking the questions.
"The stakes in the governor's race are very high for Oregon's youth," said Sharon Soliday, board chair of Children First for Oregon. "Children don't have a vote, but we will give them a voice in the 2018 election on economic security, health care, safety, education and other issues they face."
The Debate for Oregon's Future will include the three major party candidates for governor in this year's November election: Gov. Kate Brown (D) and challengers Rep. Knute Buehler (R) and Patrick Starnes (I).
"This race is so critical to Oregon's future," Rich Kurz, news director at KOIN 6, said. "Who better to ask the questions and push for answers than the students who'll be living with the consequences of decisions made in Salem for generations to come? KOIN-TV 6 is excited to be part of such a unique debate that we hope will bring new voices and a new generation into Oregon's political mix."
"We want young people there, face to face with the candidates, asking the questions because they know better than we do what issues are important to them," John Schrag, said John Schrag, executive editor of Pamplin Media Group said. "We also think it will be a lot more interesting and informative for voters than traditional debates, partly because it will be tougher for the candidates to blow off questions from young people or switch to prepared talking points. Would they really want to be seen on live TV being rude to a 16-year-old? We don't think so."
The debate will be broadcasted from 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2 on KOIN 6.