University of Pittsburgh's William Pitt Debating Union will host a debate on library funding with members of the British National Debating Team—a day before Pittsburgh residents get the chance to vote on a library funding referendum.
The debate will run from 3:30 - 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 7, in Pitt's University Club Ballroom and features Oxford University graduate Ben Jaspers and Manchester University graduate Richard Robinson, who are on a debating tour. Local panelists include policy analyst Elizabeth Stelle and Janet Jai, author of "Saving Our Public Libraries."
Associate professor Gordon Mitchell, director of the union, will moderate the debate.
Panelists will debate the impact of the proposed . 25 mills tax increase on city real estate for library funding that will appear as a ballot referendum on Nov. 8. According to the William Pitt Debating Union's website, the debate was scheduled intentionally on the eve of election day.
, more than 200 volunteers, including more than 30 from the Brookline, Beechview and Overbrook neighborhoods, have been working to support the library initiative. They helped to gather some 11,000 names on a petition to include the referendum on the Nov. 8 ballot, and went door to door to ask residents to sign cards pledging to vote "yes" on Election Day, according to Suzanne Thinnes, communications manager for Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.
The debate is free and open to the public.