Iowa City political event more fun than forum

IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- A DJ, break dancers, and free beer, if that sounds like a party-- that's kind of the point. All of it awaited the more than 100 that turned out to the Englert Theatre in Iowa City for a Democratic gubernatorial forum, Friday night.

Likely more than 100 that turned out to the Englert Theatre in Iowa City for a Democratic gubernatorial forum, Friday night. (Forrest Saunders/KCRG)

The "Political Party Live!" block party was created by the hosts of a local podcast with the same name. Misty Rebik, an organizer, said the event was specifically tailored to younger generations, like millennials, in an effort to help them become better engaged.

"We think we got to meet young people where they're at," said Rebik. "Frankly, they don't necessarily show up in libraries or stuffy forums."

The event comes at a time when both the right and left continue to push youth to turn out in larger numbers at the polls. In Iowa, the youngest age group, 18-24, had the worst participation in the 2016 election cycle.

Men: 51.94% Turnout
Women: 58.12% Turnout

"We think that young people do have voices, they do have concerns and they do want to be involved in the political process," said Rebik. "But, they feel that they have been left out. Our events are all about involving young people."

Democrats vying for the party's nomination, Nate Boulton, Cathy Glasson, Fred Hubbell, Andy McGuire, Jon Neiderbach, John Norris and Ross Wilburn were all at the event to speak with the crowd.

Rebik said this was the second block party themed forum her group had held in the Iowa City area. She said organizers would like to have another but have yet to set a specific date.