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It’s the Second Night for Debate Watch Parties in Orlando, and People Have Chosen the Issues That They’ll Vote


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Union members and social activists gathered at the Hammered Lamb in downtown Orlando last night to watch the second Democratic presidential primary debate. Photo: NPR News

Union members and social activists gathered at the Hammered Lamb in downtown Orlando last night to watch the second Democratic presidential primary debate. Photo: NPR News

About forty union members and social activists gathered in downtown Orlando yesterday for a presidential debate watch party. 

It was the second of two debates in Miami for a crowded field of Democratic presidential hopefuls. 

Members of Service Employees International Union, Organize Florida, and Dream Defenders donned deep purple t-shirts reading “Unions for All” and crowded into the Hammered Lamb. 

They watched ten candidates including Senators Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris, and former Vice President Joe Biden square off on issues ranging from climate change to racial inequality. 

Blanche Norwood of the SEIU was listening to how the candidates discussed immigration reform. 

“I’m watching that very closely because we have people that are here who are contributing to society and they deserve to stay here.”

Norwood says she also wanted to hear the candidates talk more about affordable housing and education. 

Robin Harris of the SEIU was listening to how the candidates discussed race and the issue of reparations for slavery.

“We would just like if it would just start off with acknowledgement of these sins against humanity. And I think it would kind of bridge the gap. It would definitely bridge some gaps that we’re suffering whether it’s economically, medically.”

Harris says other key issues for her include racism, police brutality and income inequality.

SEIU member George Holguin says healthcare is his number one issue. 

“We can learn from other countries’ examples, from other Western countries’ examples. We need to fix our healthcare. This for-profit healthcare system is just not working for many people. We have regular folks that are dying.”

Holguin says he supports Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders because of his universal healthcare policy. 

But he also wanted to hear what the other candidates had to say about confronting climate change and the deaths of immigrant families at the southern US border.  

The next round of Democratic debates are scheduled to take place on July 30 and 31 in Detroit, Michigan at the Fox Theatre. 

If you’d like to listen to the story, please click on the clip above.


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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

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Danielle Prieur grew up listening to her grandfather’s stories of swimming across the Detroit River from Canada and many other adventures. She’s been into storytelling ever since. She studied writing at the University of Michigan. She trained in public radio at WDET’s Detroit newsroom, and is really excited ... Read Full Bio »

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