The student organizers of March for Our Lives Morristown kept up the energy (and the tough questions on gun laws) at a Town Hall on Saturday, April 7, with candidates in the NJ 11 House of Representatives race. Planned and led by high-school students, the forum was co-sponsored by NJ 11th for Change.
The audience at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School in Morristown heard a thoughtful, spirited give-and-take on topics like banning assault rifles, the NRA's influence on legislation, and the particular threats posed by gun violence to people of color and targets of domestic abuse.
Moderated by Caitlyn Dempsey of Randolph High School, the student panel included:
- Brianna Arends (Randolph HS)
- Bella Bhimani (West Morris Mendham HS)
- Isabella Bosrock (West Morris Mendham HS)
- Natalie Gemici (Kent Place HS)
- Meghana Maddali (Morris Knolls HS)
- Evie Mason (Chatham HS)
- Carina Pacheco (Academy of Saint Elizabeth)
On hand to answer the students' questions were Republicans Patrick Allocco and Martin Hewitt and Democrats Mitchell Cobert, Tamara Harris, Mikie Sherrill and Mark Washburne. Not attending were incumbent Rodney Frelinghuysen, along with Republican contenders Peter De Neufville, Tony Ghee and Jay Webber, and Democrat Alison Heslin.
The March for Our Lives movement sparked similar town halls across the country on Saturday -- find out more on Twitter at hashtags #neveragain and #whatif.
Events like this are a good reminder that NOW is the time to study all the candidates closely for how they stand on issues important to you, so you can make an informed decision when you vote in the primary on June 5.
Candidate panel (l-r): Patrick Allocco, Mitchell Cobert, Tamara Harris, Martin Hewitt, Mikie Sherrill, Mark Washburne
Tamara Harris, Martin Hewitt
Patrick Allocco, Mitchell Cobert / Mikie Sherrill, Mark Washburne
Photos: Meredith Lynch