Representative Michael Capuano (D-MA) answered students’ questions about his policies at Emerson’s inaugural town hall-style forum Monday night. The candidate encouraged students to pursue community involvement to foster change.
Sophomore political communication major David Fadul coordinated and moderated the event. Titled “Engage in Your Democracy,” the forum’s purpose is to increase youth involvement in politics, Fadul said.
Capuano, the incumbent for Massachusetts’ seventh congressional district, seeks his 10th re-election this fall.
Before the forum, several students wrote down questions on flashcards for Fadul to ask out loud. A scribbled star on the index card indicated that the student wanted to ask Capuano their question. Several dozen students were in attendance.
Questions focused on the purpose of Capuano’s re-election run, public transportation, Boston’s housing crisis, and his efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change.
Sophomore political communication major Cierra DeVos said she was familiar with the representative’s policies of balancing fiscal responsibility with social equity.
“I appreciate his honesty. I don’t know if I agree with him on every issue, but I think he’s an important voice to have in Congress,” DeVos said in an interview.
For the final question of the night, Fadul asked Capuano what vote he felt most proud of.
Capuano described his opposing vote against the Patriot Act, an act of Congress signed in 2001 in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks that granted extensive surveillance methods.
He added that the vote at the time was risky—a move made after he decided the act violated individual freedom.
“If my tombstone said, ‘voted against the Patriot Act,’ I would be happy,” Capuano said.
Fadul said he felt proud after the forum, and thought the questions covered a lot of ground.
“I think we’re well on our way of being a school that’s in tune with the community that we call home,” Fadul said.
The Democratic primary election is on Sept. 4, 2018.
On Tuesday afternoon, students questioned Capuano’s challenger and Boston city councilor, Ayanna Pressley.