Three Democratic party primary debates were held on Thursday, August 9 at the Dr Martin Luther King Elementary School in Providence. Mark Tracy and Rebecca Kislak, the two candidates running for Rhode Island House District 4, faced off in the first debate, followed by candidates for Rhode Island Senate District 6 and Mayor of Providence. Questions were posed from WPRI/Channel 12 reporter Dan McGowan and members of the audience. This was the second of two events sponsored by the Mount Hope Neighborhood Association, Summit Neighborhood Association, and Observatory Neighborhood Association, in collaboration with the Providence Cultural Equity Initiative.

Mark did a great job of laying out clear strategies and demonstrated insight into the issues that people care about most, including our public schools, Providence water, affordable housing, health care, and much more. He shared his progressive ideas and specific examples of how he would address these concerns as our next state representative of District 4. Read more about Mark’s positions on these and other issues here.

We encourage anyone who wasn’t able to attend the debate to watch these clips to make a considered decision at the polls on September 12. Mark wants to thank Steve Alquist who originally published the clips on Uprise RI.

Mark’s opening statement

What do you think is the biggest policy difference between you and your opponent?

What is a piece of legislation or initiative that is new and that would improve the schools across the state?

A question from the audience about Tracy’s social impact bond idea. Is there an example of a social impact bond that has actually produced results?

A question about Mayor Jorge Elorza‘s plan to monetize/sell/lease Providence Water. Starting at the 4m30s mark the subject turns to the Providence pension issue.

As a lawmaker, what can you do to lower the cost of housing in Rhode Island?

A question about the quality of the water reaching people’s homes, and the lead pipes that serve many in the city.

A question about the “medical industrial complex” and affordable healthcare.

McGowan with “four, quick, rapid-fire questions” :

Would you support legalizing the recreational use of marijuana for adults over the age of 21?

Would you support driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants?

Would you support, yes or no, Nicholas Mattiello for Speaker of the House?

Would you support raising the income tax on the wealthiest Rhode Islanders?

Mark’s closing statement