1. What is your name?
Salamata Bah
2. What school do you attend?
Bronx School for Law, Government, and Justice
3. What neighborhood do you reside in?
Bronx
4. What are some kinds of activities you’re involved in?
I am involved with the Harlem Youth Court and The youth-led mayoral debate.
5. What encouraged you to become politically engaged?
I wanted my voice to be heard by our leaders and I wanted some changes happening even if it is small changes.  In waiting for those changes to happen I got impatient and decided that it is better if I did something about it. Now I feel like I am doing something for my community.
6. What are some of your thoughts of why it’s important for young people to become involved in the dialogue regarding New York City’s 2013 mayoral election?
I feel it is important because if young people voices are not represented then how is the future mayor of NYC is going to know the issues that negatively affect us? The mayor will not do anything about it unless there is someone complaining about it. If we speak up then change will happen.
7. What are some issues that concern young people in NYC that you are most concerned about?
I am concerned about stop and frisk. It is putting innocent young people in trouble for no reason. It is also breaking the relationship between NYPD and Young people. Which makes people in the community hate the police which is not suppose to happen.
I am also concerned about co-located schools and the NYC dream act.
8. What do you think should be the priorities of the next mayor?
The number one priority of the next mayor is our education system and next should be stop and frisk. There needs to be big changes in these 2 issues.
9. What do you enjoy about being involved in the first ever youth-led mayoral debate?
I enjoy the fact that is the first ever youth led mayoral debate. I enjoy the youth led part. I think it is a great chance to prove to the adult world that young people can take themselves seriously and make significant changes just like adults.
10. If there was one piece of advice you could give to the mayoral candidates, what would it be?   
I would tell the candidates to be honest to the people, they should remember that without the people they would not have the mayor position and they work for the people. They should not take that power to the head.

Video of the First ever Youth-Led Mayoral Debate!

1. What is your name?
Joy Sunday Okon
 
2. What school do you attend?
LaGuardia High School of Music and Performing Arts
3. What neighborhood do you reside in?
I live in between Stapleton and Grymes Hill in Staten Island - it depends on the day which one I’m willing to rep.
4. What are some kinds of activities you’re involved in?
I am heavily involved in my church - Sunday School teaching, tech support, as well as senior visiting on some days of the week.
 
5. What encouraged you to become politically engaged?
I carry deep empathy for anyone who is being unfairly treated, and I love to argue.  I figure that engaging  in politics requires both of these traits that are inherent to me, whilst these same traits help me to change my community for the better.
6. What are some of your thoughts of why it’s important for young people to become involved in the dialogue regarding New York City’s 2013 mayoral election?
It’s important for young people to become heavily involved in not only the mayoral elections, but in American politics in general. As a result of the ’50s baby boom, we’ve got a very large number of dependent seniors, and those getting close to seasoned age, who somehow still manage to maintain power. Since this ever-changing world requires ever-changing minds, politics needs to be updated. Teens cannot depend on their elders to run the modern world.
7. What are some issues that concern young people in NYC that you are most concerned about?
I am most concerned with the fairness of education because extremely small choices made during a child’s schooling years can very well map out the rest of his or her life. I believe that extreme injustices are continuing to exist in New York’s educational system that are disallowing the progress that would be very easy to obtain if everyone were to be educated adequately.
 
8. What do you think should be the priorities of the next mayor?
Education, health, and reforms for the NYPD.
 
9. What do you enjoy about being involved in the first ever youth-led mayoral debate?
I enjoy knowing that I helped facilitate educating my peers about not only their candidates, but the importance of knowing about their candidates.
10. If there was one piece of advice you could give to the mayoral candidates, what would it be?
Mutiny follows very closely after deceit - teens don’t take tricks lightly. And don’t forget to smile! 
1. What is your name?
Steffon Issacs
2. What school do you attend?
School for Democracy and Leadership
3. What neighborhood do you reside in?
East Flatbush, Brooklyn
4. What are some kinds of activities you’re involved in?
I am the chairman of Senior Council and I plan, supervise, and initiate student activities.I hold a seat on the School Leadership Team, which decides what needs to be done to better my school’s community. I help administer activities like staff vs.student basketball games, field days, etc. I am also a student ambassador; I represent my school at citywide high school fairs and other formal presentations.
 
5. What encouraged you to become politically engaged?
To be honest, I have always been politically involved. Mostly derived from conversations with my father.
6. What are some of your thoughts of why it’s important for young people to become involved in the dialogue regarding New York City’s 2013 mayoral election?
Its important for youth to have a voice. Especially when it comes to who will be in charge of their well-being.
7. What are some issues that concern young people in NYC that you are most concerned about?
I watch teens complain about mistreatment by the NYPD, also about age requirements for certain activities. The age thing is an issue because instead of teens being in a safe home, they decide to run rampant on the streets — which sometimes becomes life-threatening. If teens had somewhere to go, then there would be no issue.
8. What do you think should be the priorities of the next mayor?
The next mayor should be directly involved in youth growth. If we are the next generation, show us the direction you would like to see us go in.
9. What do you enjoy about being involved in the first ever youth-led mayoral debate?
Being the first to take part of a youth-led mayoral debate. I used to think nothing of the mayor’s position, but now I can dig deep into candidates’ intentions.
10. If there was one piece of advice you could give to the mayoral candidates, what would it be?
Don’t try to suck up to youth with lies and sympathy. We need action and results, not pity and ignorance. 
 
1. What is your name?
Azza Awad
2. What school do you attend?
Clara Barton High School
3. What neighborhood do you reside in?
Crown Heights, Brooklyn
 
4. What are some kinds of activities you’re involved in?
*Takes deep breath* Okay, here I go now:
I am a translator at my local Arabic school, Al Huda Islamic School. I was a part of ICNA relief program to help Hurricane Sandy victims recover from the tragedy. I am a part of a volunteering club in my school called Changemakers, where I aid in various aspects of health-related events, such as the Autism Walk and the Pancreatic Cancer Research Walk. I tutor elementary school students on a wide range of subjects like English and Math.
 
I recently completed the HPREP (Health Professions Recruitment and Exposure Program) at SUNY Downstate Hospital. I attend Sociology College Now classes at City Tech where I learn about various topics including the theoretical frameworks, social stratification, the role of the different genders, racial inequity, and human origin and development. This summer I will be part of Girls Who Code, where I will learn about the fast-paced tech industry and the basics of computer programming.
5. What encouraged you to become politically engaged?
I realized that I am heavily affected by what’s currently happening in the political world. Considering the fact that I am a minority, being an Afro-Arab Muslim female, I feel as though I am a deviant in today’s society. I have noticed that young adults have been muted when it comes to voicing their political opinions.
6. What are some of your thoughts of why it’s important for young people to become involved in the dialogue regarding New York City’s 2013 mayoral election?
It is vital for young people not only to be a part of, but to be exposed to rights they don’t realize they have. Today there are so many issues that the mayor can have a great influence on. The future mayor can have a great impact on various problems such as injustices in the criminal sectors and the push for new educational reforms.
 
7. What are some issues regarding young people in NYC that you are most concerned about?
Racial profiling continues to occur in various ways, whether it’s the infamous practice of police brutality towards a certain demographic or simply being suspiciously monitored by store staff while trying to shop. I also despise the lack of funding for school extracurricular activities. That’s why I wasn’t able to take as many Advanced Placement courses and participate in as many clubs and organizations than I would like. I wish my school could offer SAT/ACT classes so that I wouldn’t have the burden of studying for them on my own.
 
8. What do you think should be the priorities of the next mayor?
    Definitely education and criminal justice. Those issues are so prominent in today’s society, especially in New York, considering that these topics affect me greatly because I am a student facing budget-cuts, overcrowded classrooms, and having my Muslim brothers and sisters being “monitored” at religious centers because we fit the description of possible threats. From hate crime to low graduation rates, the next mayor is expected to fix these problems in light of a better future.   
9. What do you enjoy about being involved in the first ever youth-led mayoral debate?
            I loved the snacks! No seriously; I enjoyed that my opinion mattered and what I had to say would set a precedent for future young adults to voice their opinions.  I loved that I was in a room among teenagers like me who are just as passionate about making a better tomorrow for our future. This experience has left me with so much to offer in this city. I realized how powerful my words are and the actions I take can impact my community so much.    
10. If there was one piece of advice you could give to the mayoral candidates, what would it be?
      To hang loose, duh! What I really mean is that the mayoral candidates should definitely be as open minded as they can. Living in such a diverse city where there are so many perspectives to consider, the mayoral candidates must act accordingly and address the problems at hand as best as possible. The mayoral candidates should speak on or against what they believe in. That is what matters the most. The last thing New York needs is mayor who tries to please everyone and in turn that might hurt millions of others. 
 
Where do you go to school?
I go to Hillside Arts and Letters Academy on Jamaica Campus.
 
Where do you live?
I reside in South Ozone Park, but was raised in South Richmond Hill for most of my life.
 
What are some kinds of activities you’re involved in?
In school I am apart of various activities. I am on the volleyball team, National Honor Society, debate team, explorer’s club, student council, and our campus wide student council.  Apart from school I am a part of the Mayor’s Youth Leadership Council; and volunteer at various hospitals.
 
What encouraged you to become politically engaged?
At an early age, I was introduced to the jail systems through my brother; I saw first-hand how it felt not to have a voice on what goes on and how it can affect you as a person. He was solely responsible for change in me; he was my drive. From my brother, I learned the reasons why youths were not going to school and their feelings behind it. It was shocking and it opened my eyes. It was from that moment that I decided to get myself politically involved; and to make a difference for disconnected youths out there.
 
 
What are some of your thoughts on why it’s important for young people to become involved in the dialogue regarding New York City’s 2013 mayoral election?
 
I believe it is very important for the youth to be involved in the dialogue regarding New York City’s 2013 mayoral election because it is giving them a voice. For the first time, we are able to give our input and be seriously considered, without being judged. Our voice is the most powerful tool we possess, so by using it we are creating a new pathway for future generations.
 
What are some issues that concern young people in NYC that you are most concerned about?
Some of the issues I believe are important at the moment are stop and frisk and accessing health services. These stop and frisks lead to many bad outcomes for the youth but also the community.  When a young person is just stopped randomly and frisked, they feel a sense of violation. Personally, I have been stopped and frisked 4 times; that is 4 times too much. We should not be afraid to go to school because of the risk of stop and frisk. This creates a sense of animosity among between the youths and police.  As for accessing and utilizing health services, there are many that are free among communities but are not being used by the youth. Many things contribute to this; like, advertisements, and the distribution of resources among certain communities.
 
What do you think should be the priorities of the next mayor?
One of the priorities of the next mayor should be getting rid of stop and frisk. That is very important, because of the constant harassment youths and adults are facing. Second, I believe the new mayor should help NYCHA. They need a lot of repair and funding, and they absolutely deserve it.
 
What do you enjoy about being involved in the first ever youth-led mayoral debate?
Since I have been involved with the first ever youth-led mayoral debate, I have experienced many things and meet many wonderful people. Being actually able to get our voice out there for the future mayor to hear excites me because we are getting in-depth of what they would accomplish before they become mayor. I have learned new things about how certain systems work and met people that have a lot of knowledge on these systems. Plus, going on trips to debates has been eventful.
 
If there was one piece of advice you could give to the mayoral candidates, what would it be? 
One piece of advice I would give to the mayoral candidates is that they should keep their word. If you make a promise to the city, keep that promise; do not build false hope for those who trust you. We are the people, so by building us up with false hope will lead to distrust and ultimately, it will have bad outcomes.  

New Candidate in the Mayoral Race: Anthony Weiner announces his candidacy.