Central VPA Students Hold Q&A with 2021 Mayoral Candidates
Social studies teacher Matthew Pace excitedly approached the prospect of hosting St. Louis City mayoral candidates for a classroom discussion and was thrilled when all four candidates agreed to participate. On Feb. 10, Pace and the students of Central Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) High School in the Saint Louis Public School district welcomed Treasurer Tishaura Jones and Board of Alderman President Lewis Reed to a virtual discussion in their Political Science class. On Feb. 17, their guests were Alderman Cara Spencer and businessman Andrew Jones.
“After weeks of campaigning and several virtual forums across the City, it was very gratifying that all four candidates made time for our students,” Pace said. “I was so proud of our students for creating candid questions that delved right into the issues and prompted thoughtful responses.” Pace opened each session by telling all guests that his students took the lead in researching, creating and peer reviewing questions that would elicit answers most important to them. In their responses, candidates described plans for handling crime in the City, educational resources, navigating the Delmar divide, building trust between police and community, COVID-19 safety and greater prospects for college funding and the shifting economy.
“We thank all candidates for their participation and for being generous with their time. The exchange was empowering for our students and thus made the event that much more meaningful to all -- not just those who were asking the questions but for all of them who felt that their voices were being heard.”