Last April, RADICAL: Orange hosted a youth-led mayoral debate for the Orange candidates. The community came together in the HUUB room of First Unitarian Universalist Church of Orange. For a memorable and huge night for Orange.
Needless to say, there has been a lot of changes in the city of Orange. And the rise in youth leadership and Orange pride matches it in it’s energy. It seemed like a natural progression that the millennials (said youth) take a role in the politics in Orange. I join Khemani Gibson and the rest of RADICAL: Orange in making sure we do a part of being an advocate for youth in Orange, or what we like to call, the future of Orange.
The idea was to have candidates, Jane Morrell, Kerry Coley and Dwayne Warren answer questions only submitted by youth. I even jokingly made an announcement that if you were older than thirty-five you couldn’t ask a question.
Naeema Campbell, who has lived in Orange led the debate asking questions on behalf of R.O. covering subjects like crime, youth engagement, city conditions, and more. Questions were also submitted by the young men in Reggie Miller’s Brotherhood program.
I and Brittany sat off to the side and were the point people for time and overall vibe of the debate. We all wanted it to be as authentic as possible, but at the same time keep order. I must admit this was hard sometimes. The older attendees had a hard time containing their passion for their candidate. Often times we had to emphasize that people control themselves and show respect for anyone who’s turn it was to speak.
Overall, it was a huge learning experience for all of us and made it even more clear to us that it is time to do as much as we can to engage the community, and continue to cultivate young leadership.
Mayor Dwayne Warren was reelected Mayor of Orange.