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Mount Vernon To Host Another Presidential Debate Watch Party

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – The Westchester Presidential Debate Watch Series continues with a party Tuesday, Oct. 16, in Mount Vernon as Democratic President Barack Obama and Republican challenger former Gov. Mitt Romney square off in the second of three debates.

Organizer Kenneth Plummer said he is expecting a crowd of 50 people at the Roosevelt Square Professional Building, 11 W. Prospect St., which will host the next debate watch party. A similar event was held Oct. 3 at bar/restaurant Hollywood Hot on Gramatan Avenue. The events are a bipartisan effort to promote and advocate for voting, Plummer said.

“I think it’s important to promote honest, open discussion,” he said. “People need to be tolerant of different viewpoints. I openly support Obama, but this particular effort is meant to get different opinions across, which is very important.”

The biggest issues facing Mount Vernon are unemployment, health care and education, Plummer said. The national unemployment rate is higher for African Americans and Hispanics, he said.

“Education, jobs and health care are buzz words in Mount Vernon, and I think these issues make an impact on Mount Vernon residents,” Plummer said. “Mount Vernon has always been a hotbed for politics and always will be.”

Elected officials, including Mount Vernon representatives Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, state Sen. Ruth Hassell-Thompson and County Legislator Lyndon Williams, attended the Oct. 3 debate party. Having elected officials attend is mutually beneficially because they can hear residents' concerns while introducing themselves to community members, Plummer said.

“Anytime there is a situation where residents can engage with elected officials it’s important because it creates dialogue,” he said. “The local elected officials are fighting for residents daily opposed to the president.”

The Watch Series will conclude Oct. 22 at Iona College in New Rochelle, and Plummer is expecting 350 people to attend.

“It will be a tremendous evening,” he said. “We will have people from all over the county, plus students from Iona College.”

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