Debate brings mayoral issues home to Obama

Back to Article
Back to Article

Debate brings mayoral issues home to Obama

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






On March 17, 2013 Obama Academy hosted a mayoral debate for democratic candidate in it’s auditorium. Though the school looked the same as it did every other day, the sight of Bill Peduto’s supporters stalking the school grounds was enough to tell outsiders that something political was going on inside of the building. When the debate began, some of the candidates seemed surprised that they were being asked such serious questions from teenagers. One of the candidates stated that the seniors were asking better questions than the media. I wouldn’t have been surprised, the questions asked the debate ranged from to the obvious: ‘What will you do once you become mayor’. To much more serious questions like ‘What to do you plan to do about the crime in our city?’ Overall, all of the questions were pretty good, but a specific few outshone the others.

 

One of the questions that I had a particularly special affection was the one asking about what each candidate thought would help Pittsburgh Public Schools. Out of the five(at the time) candidates, only two of them had particularly memorable answers and those two were A,J. Richardson and Peduto. Peduto’s belief is  that educational programs should start at five years old, and the educational bar in and itself should be raised. He also said that they should analyze where students are having issues and come up with solutions to help them in these areas and that more money should be given to public schools. Richardson believes that they should reach out to all communities, and that they needed to unify the entire educational and student community.  And lastly that they(as state and educational officials) needed to focus on meeting all of their students’ needs instead of just some.

 

Another two questions that I had a particular fondness for were the two co-questions asking each candidate how they thought the crime issue in Pittsburgh should be addressed. It was a very personal question, as it made a direct reference to the Obama student who was shot and killed outside of his house earlier last year.  Peduto said that the police force should be decentralized and spread throughout the city. Darlene Harris suggested that they place more cameras in high crime areas and get everyone involved with public safety to exchange ideas. However my favorite answer was from Jack Wagner, who suggested that they provide employment for young people. This is my favorite solution to the problem because, while the others were focusing on defending the public from dangerous young people, Wagner aimed to neutralize the source of the problem. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that most young, angry, gunmen and women on the streets of Pittsburgh, are uneducated and unemployed. But if you fix the unemployed part, then they can use the money they earned to get themselves an education. And Wagner was the only candidate that seemed to understand that.

 

The last question that I am going to cover is the question asking how each of the candidates thought the worker exploitation issue in Pittsburgh should be addressed. Both Wagner and Michael Lamb said that they believed that the Mayor should fight for the workers and their wages. Darlene however talked about the growing problems of corporations using illegal aliens as slave workers. While Richardson took it a step further when he threw away the sugarcoating and outright said that $7.25 an hour is unacceptable. And that slaveshops, in any way, shape , or form should not be allowed in the city of Pittsburgh.

 

Overall, I believe that the debate was very satisfying. All of the candidates gave plausible solutions to Pittsburgh’s problems, some may have outshined the others but they all had good answers. I think that all of the candidates are very qualified and unlike the presidential election, I’m not terrified of who will be our new mayor. Yet. The republican election still hasn’t happened yet, so I may have spoken to soon.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email