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Final Mayoral Debate Instructive for Deering Students

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Final Mayoral Debate Instructive for Deering Students
Posted on 10/30/2015
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The mayoral forum that Deering High School students held on Oct. 29 was the last debate for the three mayoral candidates before Election Day, Tuesday Nov. 3. Each took the opportunity to encourage students to become involved in the electoral and democratic process, even if they are not yet 18, according to teacher Andrew Gordon.

The event was organized by students in the modern United States history class taught by Gordon and student teacher/educational technician Miles Bisher. All three candidates for mayor – the incumbent mayor, Michael Brennan, and challengers Ethan Strimling and Tom MacMillan – attended the debate.

“The candidates were asked to respond to questions prepared and read by Deering students,” Gordon said. The questions included one about the candidates’ views on tackling poverty in the city; about whether they think high school students are over tested; and how they planned to stand up to Gov. Paul LePage while working to ensure funding to support Portland's immigrant and refugee population, Gordon said.

He said, “Ethan Strimling referred several times to the experience he has gained from his work at Learning Works, which supports younger students in many capacities; Tom MacMillan focused on his efforts to have those employed in the city paid a living wage; while incumbent mayor Michael Brennan talked to students about the importance of graduating and then going to college, and of his goal of raising the number who do both.”

The audience, comprised of students and their families, listened attentively throughout and applauded frequently. Afterwards, Gordon's class had the chance to chat with two of the candidates. “Deering's students are waiting with interest for the results of the election,” Gordon said.