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Presidential Forum and Debate on Jan. 30


Forum Previews the Issues in Advance of Super Tuesday

Student groups seek to inform Democratic voters on the candidates

(January 24, 2008)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) -- The "Educate Your Vote" Coalition and the National Alliance for Human Rights will hold a political forum at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30 in the University Lecture Hall at UC Riverside to educate students and community members on vital issues related to the presidential race.

The moderator will be Louis Vandenberg, general manager of KUCR 88.3fm and the producer of Los Angeles-based KPFK 90.7fm's acclaimed top-rated program, "Background Briefing," heard Sundays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Vandenberg is a member of the State Democratic Central Committee. He has also been three times the Democratic nominee for United States Congress, 44th Congressional District.

“I have not endorsed any of the Democratic candidates for the Presidential nomination,” he said. “I see positives and negatives on all of the three top candidates. I hope this event can be one of real participatory democracy and proves educational for everyone, including me.”

Student organizer Martha Preciado said she and a committee of students are inviting candidates, or their representatives, to attend the forum and debate the important issues of this presidential race, such as war, healthcare, immigration, education, social security, and human rights. They have confirmed that Jose Medina will represent the Obama campaign. There will be a time for questions from the audience. She has also asked student and community groups to set up tables to give out information.

Armando Navarro, professor of ethnic studies at UC Riverside and the leader of the National Alliance for Human Rights, said the student forum is coming at the right time, in the week before the Feb. 5th California presidential primary.

“The Inland Empire is going to be pivotal,” Navarro said. “And I contend that our students, and all students, will be pivotal in this race. I’ve never seen it like this. There’s a sense of urgency across the board. I am proud of these students who are taking such an active role in this political race.”

The forum is free and open to the public, although parking on campus requires a permit. The University Lecture Hall is located near the campus bookstore, on North Campus Drive and Aberdeen Drive. Arrive early to leave time to walk from Lot 24. After 4 p.m., permits can be purchased in the lot for $5. Campus parking kiosks at the entrances can also sell permits.

Sponsors of the event include the National Alliance for Human Rights, KUCR, the Department of Ethnic Studies, Cal-PIRG, the African Student Programs Office, the Chicano Student Programs Office, Asian Pacific Student Programs, ASUCR External Affairs, and others.

The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

A broadcast studio with fiber cable to the AT&T Hollywood hub is available for live or taped interviews. UCR also has ISDN for radio interviews. To learn more, call (951) UCR-NEWS.

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