Obama Town Hall Includes Georgetown Students
October 22, 2010 – Eight Georgetown students were among an invitation-only audience of 225 young voters for a town hall with President Obama Oct. 14.
The Obama administration designed the town hall, broadcast live from BET studios in Washington, D.C., to encourage young voters to express the same enthusiasm for this year’s midterm elections as they did during the 2008 presidential race.
Viacom’s MTV, BET and CMT networks sponsored the town hall, called “A Conversation With the President.”
Vote, No Matter What
Geoffrey Bible (SFS’12), chair of the university’s College Republicans chapter, was one of the eight students.
He said even though he didn’t favor many of Obama’s policies, he found it exciting to listen to the president answering questions about immigration, cyberbullying, race relations and other topics.
“[He] stayed afterward and went around shaking mostly everyone’s hand,” Bible recalled. “He also told us that even if he hadn’t persuaded us at all or if we didn’t plan to vote in favor of his party… we [should still] go out and vote so that our voices are heard.”
Waiting on a DREAM
For Alejandro Gonzalez (C’12), the town hall provided an opportunity to get the word out about the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which would help undocumented immigrants go to college and give them a path to citizenship after meeting certain requirements.
“I come from a country, Cuba, where there is no such thing as a town hall meeting and where your opinion does not matter,” said Gonzalez, who asked Obama about the legislation. “For the first time in my life, I felt like my voice had an impact on national politics.”
Obama expressed hope for the bill’s passage in Congress.
Bryan Woll (C’12), president of Georgetown’s College Democrats, didn’t have a chance to ask Obama his question about the plight of the working poor. But he still found the town hall to be an “amazing” experience.
“I have heard President Obama speak several times before,” he said, “but to be so close to him and hear him speak articulately and passionately about wide a range of issues on the fly was great.”
Election Day Plans
Both Bible and Woll said the town hall inspired them as they made preparations for Election Day on Nov. 2.
“[Obama] cited the promise of America's youth as his greatest hope for the future,” Woll recalled.
Many of the organizations’ members will be working the polls and Metro stations for various candidates on Election Day.
Both groups will hold separate election result watch parties that night.