THE QUESTIONS SUBMITTED AND CHOSEN BY YOUNG AMERICANS AS MOST IMPORTANT
Notes on questions:
• We combined a few questions that were closely related, and resisted the urge to edit the wording of questions, opting instead to keep them in the voice of the submitters who ranged in age from 10-35;
• We’re still trying to gather the backstory – the real names (instead of usernames) and the real experiences behind each question – and we’re sound/color correcting video questions, but the text of the questions themselves are below, listed in order of priority based on total vote count.
EDUCATION: HIGHER ED/STUDENT LOANS: I’m glad Stafford loan rates were kept low but so many Higher Ed issues aren’t being addressed, such as Why are interest rates on federal college loans so high, (e.g., the Direct PLUS Loan for Parents, etc.) despite interest rates being at record lows? And why, except in cases of extreme hardship, is it that private and federal college loans can’t be discharged in bankruptcy, whereas just about every other type of debt can be? How would you remedy these inequalities? If elected, what difference would high school and college age students see in the cost and affordability of a college education? – A combination of questions submitted by Jon D., 29, from NY, and Nikki R., 23, FL.
OTHER: What contribution would you most like to make to the world before you would leave the office of President? – Video question submitted by a group of students from MA: Derek, 18, Stacey, 17, Tynisha, 18, Shaquille, 17, and Demetrius 16.
ECONOMY: JOBS: The unemployment rate of Millennials is 12%. This is a huge issue for us young Americans and doesn’t seem to be ringing any real alarm bells. It’s a whole generation that wants work, but can’t find it. What is the master plan to change the prospects for people like me? – Question submitted by J.D., 26, from NJ.
ECONOMY: SMALL BUSINESS/NATIONAL DEBT: As small businesses are the backbone of this economy and employ more than half of all American workers, what are the ways you have, or will, try and directly affect the small business – whether through tax reform, training programs or foreign trade agreements. If elected president what or how are you going to make the downfall to the economy rise so the country is more at a stability for the U.S to get out of the debt we’re in? — A combination of questions submitted by a 10-12-year-old 6th-grade boy from MI, by Sarah, 18-35, from CO, and by Gabriel E., 18-35, from CA.
EDUCATION: 1-in-5 Americans is functionally illiterate. I’d imagine you both hope that number is greatly reduced over the next 10 years. Do you have any specific, innovative plans for solving illiteracy and other issues in education that no other candidate has? Is the American way of education the right way to learn if students in other countries, all with far fewer resources than us, are outperforming us? Is it time to look to these more successful models? — Question submitted by Adele C., 29, from WA.
HEALTHCARE/EDUCATION: We are seeing increases in childhood obesity rates and chronic disease like never before; Schools are also being forced to cut or limit Physical Education classes. How does your administration plan on handling the childhood obesity epidemic? – Question submitted by C.Turner, 18-35, from IL.
EDUCATION/STUDENT LOANS: It has become more difficult for poor students to get a Pell grant. What is the future of Pell grants with you as President? — Question submitted by Michelle M., 34, from CA.
SOCIAL ISSUES: It breaks my heart to see some of my friends’s kids get bullied in schools and online after school, and I’m worried that there might be days where it gets too much for them to want to live through. What will you do to protect our younger generation from bullying and cyber-bullying? — Question submitted by Jessica, 27, from NY.
ECONOMY: Which foreign country has a political and economic system that you admire and why? — Video question submitted by Sean R., 23, from MA.
WAR AND VETERANS ISSUES: A great many military families live below the poverty line. Given their patriotism and sacrifice to this country, shouldn’t we do better by them, how can we correct how we treat them? — Question submitted by Dane, 18-35, from SC.
GOVERNMENT/TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION: What are/were your views on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA), which would have allowed the Internet to be essentially censored. Would you sign a bill like those into law, one that allows corporations or government to censor the Internet? — Question submitted by T.C., 35, from NC.
GOVERNMENT/ELECTIONS: What do you say to the 600,000 people who live a colonial existence in the District of Columbia, where the phrase “Taxation without representation” isn’t a long-forgotten battle cry, but instead, a daily reminder of the lack of congressional voting representation? — Question submitted by Erin, 18-35, from Washington D.C.
ECONOMY: Within Kansas City metropolitan area there are 3,200 homeless youth. There are programs like ReStart that are being underfunded to help these homeless youth. What resolution will you as the president do to help the condition of these youth and help programs that can help us as youth to be successful? — Question submitted by My, 10-17, from KS.
ECONOMY: GOVERNMENT SPENDING/TAXES/NATIONAL DEBT: What are your plans to address the mounting federal debt in a way that enables our nation to meet the critical needs of vulnerable people with disabilities and their families? Do you support a balanced approach that includes both spending reductions and increased revenues? — Question submitted by Marian K., 25, from FL.
GUN CONTROL: In spite of the somewhat recent unlawful use of firearms, what are your opinions on gun control in the United States? Should we tighten it to prevent these events from happening again or should we leave the right to bear arms as it is to the people? — Question submitted by Francisco, 10-17, from TX.
EDUCATION: K-12 (INFRASTRUCTURE): In regards to the political debate on prayer in public schools, what are your thoughts on freedom of religion and allowing all religious affiliations to practice their faiths in public schools? – Question submitted by Chris, 18-35, from TX.