Candidate Forums

We know that when young people turn out, progress happens. That’s why hosting candidate forums in local elections in our three major cities – Missoula, Bozeman, and Billings – is a cornerstone of our work. Along with local partners, we host fun, engaging and youth-oriented candidate forums so that local government candidates understand that they are accountable to us, too.


“I had no idea what was going on at the Badlander when I walked in. Pretty soon I’d sat down and was watching candidates for Missoula city council play flip cup and talk about the how high rent is in Missoula.”
– Sarah P., Missoula
Youth Turnout

When young people host candidate forums, young people show up. We know how to throw forums that are less of a yawn and more of an informational, educational party. Young people consistently make up a significant portion of the audience for our candidate forums across the state.

“When I was new in Bozeman, it was FMT that I looked to for information that I could trust about candidates in local races.” – Chris T., Bozeman
Meaningful Millennial Content

I had no idea what was at stake in these races and FMT helped me identify candidates that lined up with my values.” – Amara R., Bozeman

At the 2017 Missoula Municipal Candidate forum, over 50 young people engaged with city council candidates on issues that matter to us. Forward Montana pressed candidates to talk about how to work with the University to help with the budget crisis in order to ensure that housing stays affordable in the community. When young people are meaningfully included in candidate forum planning, candidates are held accountable to our values.