On Monday evening, John Garamendi (D-Solano), the candidate for California’s 3rd Congressional District and former lieutenant governor of California, made an appearance at the UC Davis Student Community Center to answer questions that were posed by students.
The congressional candidate forum was part one of a two-part series in which Garamendi and opponent Kim Vann have the opportunity to speak with students on two separate occasions.
Eddie Yoo, ASUCD executive office director of legislation and policy, said this week he is meeting with someone from Vann’s campaign to discuss the scheduling for the second part of the forum.
According to the ASUCD Facebook event page, “ASUCD’s goal is to provide an exclusive event with the candidates to further educate our students on the issues that matter to us and to encourage more students to take part in voting for the future of our campus, community and nation.”
Prior to the event, students gathered outside the Student Community Center wearing Garamendi T-shirts and carrying posters to welcome Garamendi and to draw support from fellow students. Outside the multipurpose room, CALPIRG had representatives sit out front with voter registration forms for those who have not yet registered.
Doors opened at 6:30 p.m. and the forum began at 7 p.m.
The forum was opened by Meredith Niles, a fourth-year ecology graduate student, followed by ASUCD president Rebecca Sterling, who asked questions that were prepared beforehand. In addition, audience members were given index cards and pencils to write questions for Garamendi that were asked later during the forum.
The forum began with issues about the Pell Grant, which is an important source of federal funding for low-income students. Garamendi said that the Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan budget would cut these grants. The next topic was same-sex marriage; Garamendi believes that people should marry whomever they want.
Other topics such as immigration, sequestration and the military were addressed.
In partnership with the Graduate Student Association (GSA) and other UC Davis organizations, ASUCD gave students an opportunity to meet Garamendi face-to-face and to gain knowledge of who they’re voting for and why they should vote.
Yoo said that although the event went great, the turnout wasn’t as big as he had expected.
“Overall, I’m very happy about it and happy to work with all departments,” Yoo said. “I’m so grateful our university was so helpful.”
The event concluded with audience members taking photos and talking briefly with Garamendi before his departure.
“Get involved. Pay attention. These issues are crucial to every student on campus. Register to vote and do vote,” Garamendi said as words of encouragement to students.
MEE YANG can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.