Steyer set for virtual town hall Tuesday as presidential debate remains a question mark


Jake Webster/ Iowa State Daily

Presidential candidate and businessman Tom Steyer speaks to potential voters Aug. 10 at Cafe Diem in downtown Ames.

Jake Webster

Tom Steyer is set to take part in a virtual town hall hosted by the High School Democrats of America, College Democrats of America and Young Democrats of America.

The town hall is scheduled to be broadcast at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. 

Young people have changed politics around the world “forever,” Steyer said.

“I’ve been personally been focused on empowering young people for at least a decade,” Steyer said.

Ethan Smith, the vice president of the College Democrats of America, said in a press release the organization “understands it’s important for students to be engaged with the primary.”

“While we cannot take sides, we are always glad to provide opportunities such as this town hall where students can directly interact with the candidates vying for the nomination,” Smith said in the press release. “We greatly appreciate Tom Steyer doing this event and taking the time to hear from our membership across the nation. Meaningful engagement with college students is critical for our party’s success.”

Smith’s statement was joined by one from Jack Greenspan, the chair of the High School Democrats of America.

“Although the High School Democrats of America cannot support a candidate in the 2020 presidential primary, we are looking forward to hearing from Tom Steyer during his youth town hall,” Greenspan said in the press release. “Young people are both the present and the future, and they deserve to be listened to. We commend Mr. Steyer for stepping up to speak to the next generation of American voters.”

The virtual town hall is an opportunity for viewers everywhere to tune into the town hall, “as opposed to going out to everybody,” Steyer said.

Steyer is one of seven Democrats who qualified for the Democratic presidential debate scheduled to be broadcast on Thursday.

Steyer and the six other qualifiers have said they will not participate in the debate if it would mean crossing a picket line as part of ongoing labor dispute at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, where the debate is set to take place. The Democratic National Committee, responsible for scheduling the debates, has not announced an alternative debate site or any other resolution to the possibility candidates will skip the debate.

“I have not heard exactly where that stands,” Steyer said in an interview Sunday. “[…] The last thing I heard was there was ongoing discussions.”