Debating propositions

Team skirmishes over worth of Prop 2


Cathie Lawrence

Opposition Whip Sergio Ramirez makes his presentation during the debate. Teammate Brianna Klipp listens as her partner makes his case.

Pittsburg Civic Center hosted the LMC Debate Team’s debate Wednesday night on Proposition 2, a measure on the upcoming Nov. 4 ballot to reallocate the budget to ensure the government saves money into a rainy day fund and increases school spending.
The debate was held in the Pittsburg City Council Chamber and Debate Coach Kasey Gardner said that the team “couldn’t be happier to keep partnering with the city.”
Unlike a competitive debate, where the team would only have had 15 minutes of prep time, a public debate allows the team two weeks in advance to prepare and develop arguments.
“We had 50 people here,” to view the debate, Gardner said, “and a great discussion afterward.”
One of the defining features of the debate was the open discussion time after the team members made their arguments. Audience members were free to ask questions of the debaters.
“Guests brought up great questions to enhance the debate,” said Gardner, adding that the team “did a great job.”
Debate Coach Marie Arcidiacono agreed with Gardner’s assessment.
“I’m super proud of them,” she said. “Three of our members are brand-new. They’ve been with us 11 weeks and they’re already debating.”
Some of the debaters were assigned to argue the side that didn’t align with their viewpoints. Team Member Dennis Tekell was not initially against Proposition 2, but after some research, he is now unsure.
“Debate wouldn’t be fun if only one side was true,” Tekell said.
Each team member raised several fair points about the issue, including Colin Brown, Dyllan Melowitz, Taylor Gonzalez, and Vivian Lewis for the Government side and Brianna Klipp, Dennis Tekell, Jenna Elkins, and Sergio Ramirez for the Opposition.
The Government side argued for Proposition 2, highlighting that it increases school spending without the need for new taxes by redistributing existing funds. The Opposition argued against the Proposition, highlighting that the state doesn’t necessarily know what each individual school district needs to spend and save.
Each argument was presented clearly and confidently by the team members.
The team has certainly stepped up its performance since its first competition in San Diego at the beginning of October.
Arcidiacono said that the team “Has taken more ownership” since the last debate “I have just seen their drive to research increase.”
The team members have even begun to schedule additional practices beyond the Wednesday night session, dedicating themselves to preparing for upcoming competitions.
Since World debates focus on current events, teams prepare by researching current events and compiling stock evidence for various current issues.
Team Member Sergio Ramirez said he “can see progress every practice.”
Team Member Brianna Klipp echoed his sentiments. “I feel that, as time goes, we’re taking huge steps in the right direction.”