Debate team to hold public forum on privatization

Emma Huebner

Foothill’s Speech and Debate team is hosting a public forum debate regarding privatization of public services at 7 p.m. Friday in Spirito Hall. Admission is free, but donations are encouraged to help cover the costs of future tournaments.

The debaters will focus on the pros and cons of privatizing space exploration, the military and libraries. The original controversy in Ventura over privatizing libraries began when Camarillo pulled out of the county library system and started its own city library. The city of Ventura is now proposing the same action.

“I think this is important because it’s a local issue,” English teacher and Speech and Debate coach Jennifer Kindred said. “It needs discussion.”

At the state level, Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation that could make it more difficult to dismantle county library systems. The new bill requires cities or library districts to reach a series of performance and financial benchmarks prior to employing a private contractor to run library services.

The Speech and Debate team will take both sides of the issue during the debate, either defending or opposing the following statement: Privatization of government services is in the best interest of the American people.

“Debaters take one side in the debate but research both sides,” sophomore Ami Ballmer said.

Ballmer will be debating on Friday with her partner, sophomore Ana Bello, against seniors Aron Egelko and Kevin Kunes.

What do you think?