What would you ask the Presidential Candidates

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. – The second of three presidential debates will be held Oct. 16 at Hofstra University on Long Island. It will be “town meeting” style, and the participants will be undecided voters selected by the Gallup Organization. We asked a number of civic leaders, “If you could attend the debate, what would you ask Barack Obama and/or Mitt Romney?”

Lynette Batts, director of youth services at Littig House, Port Washington, has this question for both candidates.

“What is your stance on the No Child Left Behind Act? It is an under-funded mandate. How would you make sure that it is funded properly?”

Lucia Gomez-Jimenez of the group La Fuente would ask President Obama what he would he do differently in his next term to ensure the passage of immigration reform. She would ask Mitt Romney, “Absent passage of a broader DREAM act and immigration reform, would the candidate continue the administrative policy of deferred action on childhood arrivals currently put in place by President Obama on Aug. 15 of this year?”

Shanequa Levin with the group Every Child Matters would ask each candidate if he is going to be the president that children and families need to address their concerns. She wants the next president to do more for some of the country’s most vulnerable citizens.

“How are you going to make sure that government plays an important role in strengthening families not just economically, but physically and emotionally, too?”

While these community leaders have decided what questions they would put directly to Romney and Obama at Hofstra on Oct. 16, the participants in that town-hall style meeting will be chosen from undecided voters by the Gallup Organization.

Lincoln-Douglas Debate painted by Robert Marshall Root, circa 1918. Courtesy Smithsonian American Art Museums

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