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Sophomore Organizes Congressional Forums for Classmates

David Fadul ’20 looks at his classmates and sees a lot of power and energy to make change, but less interest in politics and voting. So Fadul took it upon himself to bring some political candidates to them.

Fadul, a Political Communication major, organized two town hall-style forums with the two Democratic candidates for the Massachusetts 7th Congressional District: Rep. Mike Capuano and his challenger, Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley. Capuano will spend an hour with students on Monday, April 2, and Pressley will do the same on Tuesday, April 3. Both forums will be from 6:00 to 7:00 pm in the Greene Theater.

“I’ve always been very interested in trying to get fellow millennials involved in politics, because I know we have a lot of power that’s been unrealized,” he said. “I just thought inviting actual candidates to the school to answer actual questions would create less distance and make it more personal.”

Fadul said he intentionally wanted to bring the candidates in on different days, because if he were to organize a debate, they would focus much of their energy on each other, rather than on the students and their questions. Fadul will moderate both forums.

Both campaigns were “extremely happy” to participate and easy to approach, said Fadul, who noted he got help crafting emails to the candidates from School of Communication Dean Raul Reis and Peggy Ings, vice president for government and community relations.

Fadul hasn’t just been organizing and publicizing the town halls; he’s also been busy registering students to vote. It’s been pretty evenly split between students who register to vote in Boston vs. those who choose to register in their districts back home, he said.

For his part, Fadul is registered to vote in the Massachusetts 7th. His home district of Washington, DC, has no Senator and only a non-voting Congressional delegate to the House, yet all local laws require Congressional approval.

It’s partially that lack of representation that has fueled Fadul’s political passion, he said.

“Not to be dramatic, but it seems like such a privilege to me to be born with representatives who must listen to you and who must make laws on your behalf,” he said.

Fadul said he was encouraged by the number of his peers who turned out for the March for Our Lives to protest gun violence and insufficient gun control last Saturday.

“I think the march reinforced my idea that my fellow classmates want an outlet to express their thoughts,” he said. “Everyone can see there are problems, but not everyone knows where to go when they see a problem.”

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