Aurora highschool college students are internet hosting a mayor’s debate on Monday

Civic student leaders from four Aurora high schools are organizing a virtual debate on Monday with the three candidates vying for Aurora mayor.

Reigning Richard Irvin, 10th Ward, Alderman Judd Lofchie, and former East Aurora Unit District 131 school director John Laesch were invited to attend the forum hosted by student groups from high schools in Metea Valley, Waubonsie Valley, East Aurora and West Aurora was hosted.

Two non-partisan organizations, Citizens of Metea and Waubonsie Valley Youth & Government hosted a forum last month that included candidates running for the Indian Prairie Unit District 204 school board. In hopes of expanding their coverage to other races on the ballot, student representatives have teamed up with the two Aurora schools outside of District 204 to plan a community-wide mayoral debate, said Senior Sebastian Segarra, political director for Citizens of Metea.

The students did research, developed questions, and handled the logistics of the event, including advertising and public relations, Segarra said. Issues for debate include school funding and budgets; Climate change; Police relations and reforms; Community investment, especially in the city center; and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hosts are Segarra, Landon Williams from Waubonsie Valley, Danny Perez from West Aurora and Israel Tinoco from East Aurora.

Since the District 204 Candidate Forum last month, Segarra said, student leaders have worked through technical difficulties, changed the format, and “worked a lot on the backend to keep the event running smoothly.”

“You can expect a very well organized and well-run debate this Monday,” he said. “Hopefully these attendees will learn about the candidates and who they will be voting for on April 6th.”

The event takes place on Mondays from 6 to 7.30 p.m. via Zoom. Registration is public.

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