1. 2018 Candidate Forums

2018 Candidate Forums

Michigan’s Children 2018 Youth- and Family-Led Candidate Forums

Nearly 22 percent of Michigan’s residents are too young to vote, but their interests and their issues matter to our state’s future. Through the 2018 Election season, Michigan’s Children is listening to what candidates are saying and trying to engage more informed voters. However, we don’t often hear candidates talk about many issues that matter to children, youth and families. To remedy this, we are conducting a series of forums in different areas of the state led by youth and parents asking the important questions to Michigan candidates. These forums are presented as a non-partisan activity.

Come to our forums and hear your community’s candidates for office discuss issues with youth and families!


2018 Youth-Led Candidate Forums
  • Parent-Led Candidate Forums

    Michigan Families Make Kids Their Primary Priority

    dsc_0059Michigan’s Children’s Sandbox Party’s first two candidate forums of the 2018 season took place from shore to shore on July 25. First, we went to the Zeeland Early Childhood Center, where parents of young children posed questions for candidates for state House and Senate. Then we traveled back to The Children’s Center in Detroit, where parents and other concerned community members listened while candidates for Congress and the State Senate explained why they were the right people to lead policy efforts in their area. Their questions focused on issues of child care, transportation and housing, mental health and education and more.
    Read our story covering the day’s events
    Read Michele’s Blog Take-Aways From the Day
    Participating Candidates at the Zeeland Early Childhood Center
    Participating Candidates at The Children’s Center

    Bay City Candidate Forum

    Date: Monday, October 15
    Candidates Attending:
    Kevin Daley, 31st State Senate
    Susan Kay Kowalski, 96th State House
    Annette Glenn and Sarah Schulz, 98th State House
    Location: Boys and Girls Club of the Great Lakes Bay Region
    Time: 4:00pm – 5:30pm
    Invited candidates:
    31st State Senate
    96th and 98th State House
    Event Partners:
    Bay-Arenac ISD
    Bay City Public Schools 21st Century After-School Program
    Boys and Girls Clubs of the Great Lakes Bay Region
    Michigan After-School Partnership (MASP)
    The Rock Youth Development Center
    Read the local press release here.
    Read our story covering the day’s events here.
    Click photos of the event here.

    Capitol Area Candidate Forum

    Date: Tuesday, October 16
    Candidates Attending:
    Curtis Hertel, Jr., 23rd State Senate
    Katie Nepton, 24th State Senate
    Sarah Anthony, 68th State House
    Location: Lansing Community College
    Time: 4:00pm – 5:30pm
    Invited candidates:
    8th Congressional
    23rd and 24th State Senate
    68th State House
    Event Partners:
    Fostering Stars, Lansing Community College
    Fostering Success Michigan
    Ingham Academy, Ingham County Circuit Court
    Peckham, Inc.
    Read the local press release here.
    Read our story covering the day’s events here.
    Click photos of the event here.

    Oakland County Foster Care Candidate Forum

    Date: Thursday, October 18
    Candidates Attending
    Bill Schuette and Garlin Gilchrist II (Representing Gretchen Whitmer), Governor
    Tori Sachs (Representing John James), U.S. Senate
    Michael McCready and Jeff Pittel, 12th State Senate
    Marty Knollenberg and Mallory McMorrow, 13th State Senate
    David Wolkinson and Mari Manoogian, 40th State House
    Doug Tietz and Padma Kuppa, 41st State House
    Michael Webber and Kyle Cooper, 45th State House
    Location: Oakland University, Rochester
    Time: 7:00pm – 9:00pm
    Invited candidates:
    12th and 13th State Senate
    40th, 41st State House and 45th House district
    Event Partners:
    Bethany Christian Services
    Fostering Success Michigan
    Judson Center
    The New Foster Care
    Oakland University
    Vista Maria
    Wayne State University
    Read the local press release here.
    Read our story covering the day’s events here.
    Click photos of the event here.
    View the entire recorded forum here.

    Newaygo Candidate Forum

    Date: Friday, October 19
    Candidates Attending
    Jon Bumstead, Poppy Sias-Hernandez and Max Riekse, 34th State Senate
    Scott VanSingel and Sandy Clarke, 100th State House
    Location: Dogwood Center for Performing Arts
    Time: 9:30am – 11am
    Invited candidates:
    34th State Senate
    100th State House
    Event Partners:
    Fremont Area Community Foundation Youth Advisory Council
    Newaygo High School
    Grant High School
    Project Focus, a True North Community Services initiative
    Michigan After-School Partnership (MASP)
    Read the local press release here.
    Read our story covering the day’s events here.
    Click photos of the event here.

    Kent County Candidate Forum

    Date: Monday, October 22
    Candidates Attending:
    Craig Beach and Nathan Hewer, 28th State Senate
    Daniel Allen Schutte and David LaGrand, 75th State House
    Rachel Hood, 76th State House
    Tommy Brann, and Patty Malowney, 77th State House
    Location: Wyoming Community Education
    Time: 9:30am – 11:00am
    Invited candidates:
    28th and 29th State Senate
    75th, 76th, and 77th State House
    Event Partners:
    Kent ISD Adult Education
    Michigan Association of Community and Adult Education (MACAE)
    Read the local press release here.
    Read our story covering the day’s events here.
    Click photos of the event here.

    Holland Area Candidate Conversation

    Date: Tuesday, October 30
    Candidates Attending:
    Mary Buzuma, Jeanette Schipper and Roger Victory, 30th State Senate
    Christopher Banks, 90th State House
    Location: Holland MidTown Center
    Time: 10:00-11:30 a.m.
    Invited candidates:
    30th State Senate
    90th State House
    Event Partners:
    Michigan Association of Community and Adult Education (MACAE)
    Zeeland/Holland Adult Education

    Novi Candidate Forum

    Date: Tuesday, October 23
    Candidates Attending:
    Haley Stevens, 11th Congressional District
    Julia Pulver, 15th State Senate
    Kathy Crawford, and Kelly Breen, 38th State House
    Anthony Croff, 39th State House
    Location: Novi Middle School
    Time: 5:30pm – 7:00pm
    Invited candidates:
    11th Congressional
    15th State Senate
    38th and 39th State House
    Event Partners:
    Michigan Association of Community and Adult Education (MACAE)
    Novi Community Education
    Read the local press release here.
    Click photos of the event here.

    Adrian/Lenawee Candidate Forum

    Date: Wednesday, October 24
    Candidates Attending:
    Gretchen Driskell, 7th Congressional District
    Bill LaVoy, 17th State Senate
    Amber Pedersen, 57th State House
    Terri McKinnon and Jason Rees, 65th State House

    Location: Jackson College/LISD Tech Center
    Time: 5:30pm – 7:00pm
    Invited candidates:
    7th Congressional
    17th State Senate
    57th and 65th State House
    Event Partners:
    Michigan Association of Community and Adult Education (MACAE)
    Michigan Works Southeast

    Read the local press release here.

    Kalamazoo Candidate Forum

    Date: Monday, October 29
    Candidates Attending:
    Sean McCann, 20th State Senate
    Jon Hoadley, 60th State House
    Alberta Griffin, 61st State House
    Location: Kirsch Auditorium at the Fetzer Center, WMU, 2251 Business Court. Kalamazoo
    Time: 6:30pm – 8:30pm
    Invited candidates:
    20th State Senate
    60th and 61st State House
    Event Partners:
    ASK Family Services
    Kalamazoo Youth Development Network (KYDNet)
    Read the local press release here
    Read our story covering the day’s events here.

    Learn more about Michigan’s Children’s 2016 youth-led candidate forums.

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