On Tuesday, October 25, AL DÍA News hosted a question and answer session with U.S. Senate candidate Katie McGinty, a Democratic running against incumbent Republican Sen. Pat Toomey. McGinty's race is one of five in the nation which has the potential to flip the Senate majority to the Democrats. Although she has never held elected office previously, she has worked in politics for decades, serving in the Clinton administration and most recently as Gov. Tom Wolf's chief of staff, and since the beginning of the campaign has picked up a number of high power endorsements, including that of Bernie Sanders and the New York Times editorial board.
McGinty was raised in an Irish family in North Philadelphia, and during the campaign frequently cites her working class upbringing as the underpinning of her belief in public service. She came to AL DÍA fresh from the previous night's fierce, yet inconclusive debate at Temple University, and answered questions from the news team and dignitaries in the crowd.
Though McGinty seemed to have answers ready for most of the questions raised, Judge Nelson Díaz made an effort to push her beyond her usual talking points with a question about Pennsylvania's Puerto Rican communities, pointing out that politicians too often tend to take the Latino vote for granted without specifically addressing the problems their Latino constituents face.
McGinty defended her record of addressing Puerto Rican issues, making brief reference to the PROMESA bill and clarifying that much of the legislation she proposes to help the working poor could help Puerto Rican communities in Philadelphia and its exurbs. She continued to speak at length about a program she worked on in Reading which sought to curb a disproportionately high dropout rate among Hispanic students with training in well-compensated trades.
The discussion covered a range of issues besides, including the environmental issues which affect city residents, improving education to improve access to job opportunities for people of color, and the possibility of closing the family detention center at Berks.