August 6 GOP Debate Watch Party

***Media Availability***

Watch Party Details Below

Media Contact:
Beth Kanter, 202-448-0209 (office), 773-551-7044 (cell)

Working Families and Activists On Hand to React Before, During and After August 6 GOP Debate

On Thursday, August 6, Republican candidates will square off in their first primary debate.

Working families and activists from the Putting Families First campaign will be available to respond throughout the debate to what we anticipate will be outrageous claims and out-of-touch policy positions from Republican presidential hopefuls.

Working families will be demonstrating in front of the debate site in Cleveland, Ohio, and available for comment.

Additionally, working parents, young people and minimum wage workers who are part of the Putting Families First campaign will attend watch parties in Cleveland and New York.

Cleveland Watch Party:
Bier Market
1948 West 25th Street
Cleveland, OH
9:00 p.m.

New York Watch Party:
St. Paul’s Church
157 St. Paul’s Place
Brooklyn, New York
9:00 p.m.

Working families are also available for comment in early primary and caucus states, including New Hampshire, Iowa and Nevada.

Putting Families First will host a live Twitter chat during the debate using the hashtag #FamiliesVote and will post coverage and reactions to the debate on Facebook. The campaign is encouraging supporters to submit questions to the debate moderators via social media to probe the candidates’ positions on issues that impact working families.

Below are individuals who are available for interviews before, during and after the debate:

Political and Policy Response

  • Dan Cantor, national director of the Working Families Organization
  • Dorian Warren, assistant professor in the Department of Political Science and the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, fellow at the Roosevelt Institute and host of MSNBC’s “Nerding Out”
  • Ronnie Galvin, senior advisor at the Center for Community Change
  • Erin Johansson, research director at Jobs With Justice
  • Justin Terrell, program manager at TakeAction Minnesota

Debate Expert and Political Response

  • Jeff Parcher, director of communications at the Center for Community Change, former championship presidential and college debate coach

Immigration and Racial Justice Response

  • Kica Matos, director of immigrant rights and racial justice at the Center for Community Change and spokesperson for the Fair Immigration Reform Movement
  • Connie Razza, director of strategic research for economic justice, Wall Street accountability, immigrant & civil rights and climate justice at the Center for Popular Democracy

Ohio Politics and Policy Response

  • Amy Hanauer, founding executive director of Policy Matters Ohio
  • Deb Kline, director of Cleveland Jobs With Justice

Real Voters and Real People on the Ground

These are just a sample of the many people with whom we can connect you.

  • Rachel Collyer, Cleveland Heights, OH. Rachel is a recent college graduate who works as a bartender for $7.25 an hour. She is drowning financially from $26,000 in student debt. If given the opportunity, Rachel would ask the candidates:

Given the cost of attending college, most students must work while they are in school. Even working 40 hours a week at Ohio’s minimum wage of $8.10, which is higher than the federal minimum wage, this only adds up to $17,820 a year before taxes. This doesn’t come close to covering the average cost of tuition and room and board at Ohio State, for example, which is closer to $22,000. It is no wonder then that about 68 percent of Ohio’s college graduates have an average of $29,000 in debt. How do you propose addressing the needs of recent college graduates so that paying for their college education is not a barrier to success?

  • Patrice Mack, Euclid, OH. Patrice is a single mother of four and a college graduate who is looking for work. She is tapping into her retirement savings to make ends meet. Patrice considers herself middle class but is one paycheck away from poverty. Her question for the Republican presidential hopefuls:

Minimum wage is not at a level where working families can survive unless they work multiple jobs. What is your plan to help the working family? How do you propose we do a better job of parenting our children and being there for them while at the same time earning enough income to provide for our kids?

  • Astrid Silva, Las Vegas, NV. Astrid is a college student and undocumented immigrant who came to the United States when she was four-years-old. President Obama recently told her story in a speech about the need to reform immigration system. She is a vocal advocate for immigration reform. Her question to the GOP field:

Given that there are 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, what concrete plan do you have for immigration reform— not one that dismantles what the president has done or that focuses only on border security?  What are the real solutions for issues such as family reunification, the ban on re-entry to the U.S. by undocumented immigrants or strengthening the law to allow undocumented immigrants to seek asylum in the U.S.?

  • Anabel Barron, Cleveland, OH. Anabel is an undocumented immigrant from Mexico and advocate for other undocumented people. She is a mother of four children who were born in the United States. Anabel received her final order of removal from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after a routine traffic stop for speeding. She had no prior arrests or convictions and has been granted a stay.
  • Rae Leskanic, Cleveland, OH. Rae is one of seven former employees of BFG Federal Credit Union. She and her coworkers were laid off in April 2015 after their successful union organizing drive. Charges have been filed at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
  • Debbie Silverstein, Cleveland, OH. With both parents in need of home health care in the past, Debbie understands the importance of this issue. Without home health care, both her parents would have been institutionalized and may not have recovered as quickly.

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