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Young Professionals to Grill Gubernatorial Candidates


Vermont's young professionals will get a chance to question two of the candidates for governor at a forum next Tuesday night.

As Andy Bromage explained in this week's excellent cover story ("Friending Politics"), a plethora of young professional groups have been sprouting up in Vermont. Many of their members want to have some of their unique concerns and issues addressed by politicians and policyamkers.

A group called Vermont Young Professionals recently solicited feedback from their members about the governor's race. About 100 young professionals chimed in with their concerns, which the VYP leadership team translated into questions for Republican Brian Dubie and Democrat Peter Shumlin. Seven Days printed the results of the VYP survey and put them online as well.

Interestingly, none of the groups in the article offers a definitive description of what it means to be either "young" or "professional".

That must be why the Burlington Young Professionals Group asked a 42-year-old political columnist and father of three (me) to host their gubernatorial forum. OK, fine, maybe it's my "Social Media King" status that cinched it. I'm honored to be part of the event — even if yesterday I did receive an AARP membership application in the mail. Sheesh, is AARP that hard up for members? Give me a break. I'm old, but I'm not that old.

So if you're a young professional, or pretend to be one at work, you should register to attend Tuesday night's forum.

The forum will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. in the Film House at Main Street Landing on Burlington's waterfront. I'll be sitting down with Dubie and Shumlin — separately — to ask them questions of import to this group of voters.

Dubie will be on stage from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m., and Shumlin from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. Both candidates will stick around for more informal chats until about 8 p.m. Yes, drinks and appetizers will be served, too.

I'm collecting questions via Twitter ahead of the debate. You can tweet questions to the hashtag #YPGGov. Or, you can send questions via the event site or the BTV YPG fan page on Facebook.

You can find the event page here and the Facebook page here.

Seven Days cover credit: Jordan Silverman, photo, Andrew Sawtell, design.