On May 21, Global Ties ABQ, the World Affairs Council of Albuquerque, the New Mexico Trade Alliance and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute hosted a Congressional District One Candidate Forum on today’s pressing international issues and U.S. foreign policy. The Forum was held at the UNM Continuing Education Center’s Auditorium and moderated by Ambassador William Itoh, President of the World Affairs Council of Albuquerque.
The forum began with remarks by Adelle Lees, Executive Director of Global Ties ABQ. “Not only will this forum touch on global issues and America’s role in either solving them or supporting the international community efforts to make our world a better place, but it will also educate the wider community on how these issues affect New Mexico, especially the State’s most populated district…It’s important for the future representative of District 1 and its citizens to have a clear understanding on the importance of global engagement for our State and our national security.”
The event addressed topics regarding pressing U.S. domestic and foreign policies, including trade agreements, diplomatic efforts, immigration and refugee populations and intake, and security. The candidates present were Debra Haaland, Damon Martinez, Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, Paul Moya, Damian Lara, Lloyd Princeton and Janice Arnold-Jones. The congressional candidates were given the opportunity to express their positions on these topics, as well as answer several questions from the audience. The audience asked about candidates’ positions on the United States’ current and future relationships with Mexico, China and North Korea and the candidates expressed well-articulated. The candidates were also asked questions about supporting soft-power diplomacy, such as the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) and the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative, as well as questions on war powers and international trade agreements.
European visitors from Regional Responses to Refugee and Migration Issues, (IVLP project) also attended and had an opportunity to experience the United States’ democratic process, hear of future policies and positions about federal refugee and migration issues.