Thursday, November 21, 2019

Making the Atlanta Debate Scene

It’s hard to understand why Atlanta’s debate scene was markedly different from those in Detroit, Houston and Westerville. There was virtually no participation by those who lived or worked in the area and a small police presence compared to the other selected venues.The areas where protesters and others could stand was not decided on in advance and was changed three times while I was there. By the time large groups representing candidates and issues arrived we were allowed to stand in two grassy areas dividing the street. These areas were comparatively small and became quite crowded.This may have discouraged participation by the media. There seemed to be less local coverage and no national coverage outside the debates. Perhaps the media was too busy with impeachment proceedings. Perhaps holding the debates at a commercial establishment as opposed to a university or large city setting put a damper on things.

The debate in Atlanta did not start until 9 PM. As a result, we all stood in darkness when the sun went down. It became chilly and I was glad I had decided to wear long underwear. It was, after all, late November. Luckily, there was good overhead lighting. A lovely addition to the debate scene was a high school band that marched in the street and then settled in on one of the grassy areas that divided the street. I know I was keeping the beat with my whole body as they played. Here’s a photo of me with the marching band behind me in the street.

After flying down to Atlanta to participate in the goings on, I was disappointed by a reduced media presence. Even so, I had fun talking with people, engaging in some interviews with, among others, The Carpenters Apprentice from San Antonio, TX, Ricky Davis’ Ever Real Enterprises, Valerie Curry of Ms’ Curry’s Neighborhood and Archith Seshadri. As usual, I was the subject of numerous photos by others at the debate scene. I ask people when they post to hashtag 

Atlanta News WJBF Channel 6
Interview with Archith Seshadri

The Carpenters Apprentice, San Antonio TX
(To hear audio, post link at Facebook)

Ever Real Enterprises, Atlanta, GA

I attended a debate watch party with Ricardo Mireles who is the executive director of a charter school in Los Angeles. He was there with a contingent from Tennessee, Wisconsin and Massachusetts to demand more support for charter schools.

I am looking forward to seeing some of the people I visited with in Atlanta as well as other debate locations next month in Los Angeles.

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