President Barack Obama will host an invite-only town hall meeting with young people in our area Thursday to discuss the pressing issues of the day.
The meeting, entitled “A Conversation With The President,” will be held at 4 p.m. in Washington and is being sponsored by MTV, BET and CMT. This is the second time President Obama has appeared on an MTV-sponsored program to speak.
The first of which was in October 2007 at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he also fielded questions from young Americans. This was one of the key steps that then Senator Obama took to increase his popularity with young voters. During the election of 2008, between 22 and 24 million young Americans between the ages of 18 and 22 voted, the largest number since 1972 when the voting age was lowered to 18.
It is this strong interest that young Americans have taken in politics that has led MTV to once again sponsor an event that Obama will headline.
"We know that America's youth hold strong views about the challenges our country faces as well as their own aspirations for the future," Viacom President and CEO Philippe Dauman said. "We are honored that the President has chosen to appear on our cable networks to continue his dialogue with the nation's young people."
The audience will be comprised of students from local universities. In order to apply to be part of the audience, students needed to give their contact information, tell which issues they were passionate about, describe their political views, and attach a current picture. Viacom spokeswoman Kelly McAndrew said these steps were taken because, "we want gender diversity, we want ethnicity diversity, we want religious diversity, we want political view diversity. We want diversity of all kinds."
Interviews of potential attendees were held at The Madison, a Lowes Hotel in northwest Washington, this past Friday. From there, a diverse group of about 250 students were selected to sit in the meeting with Obama and potentially get their questions answered.
Those who aren’t in the live audience can still submit questions for the president via Twitter beginning Wednesday, according to MTV. To send in a question via Twitter, use the hashtag “#ask”. For example, if your question dealt with health care, then you would type in “#askhealthcare” and then follow it with your question. The town hall meeting will be aired live on MTV, BET and CMT.