Alya Mehrtash staff writer
In the upcoming midterm elections on Nov. 6, parents, staff and even some students will be able to cast their votes for different city positions, including two seats in the BHUSD Board of Education. The BHHS Interact Club and Teen BHEF are working together to host a community forum regarding the school board election. The forum will be held on Oct. 3 in the Jon Cherney Lecture Hall from 5-7 pm.
During the forum, the three candidates, Tristen Walker-Shuman, Marvin Winans Jr and Rachelle Marcus, will each give their introductions; they will then be asked pre-written questions, administered by the Interact and Teen BHEF students prior to the forum. Questions for the candidates will be open to the public toward the end of the forum. The event will be hosted by Interact Club president senior Estella Rosen, and Teen BHEF president senior Noelle Trost.
“My goal for this event is to provide the information the citizens of Beverly Hills need [in order] to educatedly vote for two new members of the School Board,” Rosen said. “The questions will not be shared with any of the candidates prior to the forum and will hopefully be a good gauge of where the candidates stand on the biggest challenges facing our district.”
There are currently many significant issues facing the board, namely the impasse between the union and the board, as well as Metro construction. The vice president of Interact, senior Daniela Mashoudy, sees this forum as the perfect setting for students to voice their opinions on prevalent issues affecting our community.
“I think it’s important students attend and get involved with this event, because if they go, they’ll get an idea of the policies and goals of certain candidates,” she said. “Also, in general, I think it’s extremely important that students take the opportunity to attend this forum so they can voice their opinions on issues such as the impasse, the Metro or construction.”
Rosen urges students and community members to attend the forum and become as well-informed as they can. Not only does she believe this forum will help voters make more educated decisions in the upcoming elections, but she also believes that even those who are unable to vote can still benefit.
“Despite not being able to vote, student attendance will bring attention to the importance of electing reliable school board members. Students are the ones experiencing the results of school board decisions and, therefore, should be the ones asking the questions,” she said. “I implore students from all BHUSD schools to attend and ask questions to keep our School Board members accountable.”
Rosen hopes that the forum allows students and other members of the Beverly Hills community to express their thoughts and concerns directly to the candidates and to hear about the candidates’ opinions.
“Choosing strong candidates who are going to listen to the students’ voices and to the voices of our educators is imperative to the survival of our district and our school,” she said. “The students of BHHS have many urgent questions about our school and district, and the only way to make sure these questions are answered is to ask…the candidates [questions] in a public setting like the forum.”