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Council candidates debate youth issues at key forum

Yawu Miller | 10/14/2009, 6:23 a.m.
At-large City Council candidate Tito Jackson second from left answers a question as rivals Felix Arroyo left, At-Large City Councilor Steven Murphy third from left and youth leaders Melissa Abar second from right and Calvin Carrasquillo right listen during a candidates’ forum at English High School last week. Yawu Miller

When asked how he would secure funding for youth violence prevention, Murphy noted that the city has requested that the Boston Police Department spend less on overtime and said he would advocate for diverting the funding saved to youth programs.

The youths interviewed by the Banner gave Arroyo and Jackson the highest marks for their answers.

“Felix really spoke to me about the youth violence,” said Robeson Rogers, a student at Hyde Park High School’s Social Justice Academy.

Calvin Carrasquillo, one of the moderators of the panel and a student at Brighton High School, said he was impressed by Jackson’s answers.

“He gave more details and facts,” Carrasquillo said.

While Carrasquillo is three years away from voting age, he said the forum gave him and other youth a voice in the political process by compelling political leaders to listen.

“This was a day where we actually got to say what we think about what’s going on around us,” he commented.

Co-moderator Melissa Abar said she was disappointed that only half the candidates in the race showed up to the forum, but was happy with the discussion that took place.

“It was good just to hear where they’re coming from,” she said.