Students organize and attend town hall for Kansas’ 3rd Congressional District election

Students from local schools organized a town hall on Saturday for the candidates of the Kansas’ 3rd Congressional District election. Incumbent Republican Kevin Yoder declined multiple requests to appear, but his seven challengers chose to attend.

Sitting alongside a cardboard cutout of congressman Yoder, candidates answered audience submitted questions read by J.C. Harmon High School debate teacher Kevin Kinsella. Hundreds of people filled the audience in the Saint Andrew Christian Church in Olathe to hear their responses. Topics discussed included gun reform, the engagement of young people, reproductive rights, immigration and corruption.

Junior Holly Rassette, an audience member of the town hall, said that she found it was informative.

“The town hall was really beneficial because it helped me learn a lot more information about where our candidates stand and allowed this movement to really push further into the government,” Rassette said. “I’m hoping that this will affect the results of the next election and will move us on step further to better laws and an uncorrupt congress.”

The 3rd Congressional District ‘Town Hall for Our Lives’ occurred in tandem with town halls across the nation, which were organized in response to the shooting which took the lives of 17 students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fl. Student organizers with March for Our Lives KC planned the event with the aim of continuing the nationwide pressure on candidates and lawmakers toward enacting changes to protect students from gun violence.

Senior Pearse Flood said that the town hall achieved this goal.

“I definitely think it will have a change, and I like that they organized this event because it keeps the momentum from ‘March for Our Lives’ going into something bigger, and it keeps people and voters engaged for when they vote,” Flood said.