A December Democratic presidential debate that was pulled from the UCLA campus due to objections from a labor union will instead be held at Loyola Marymount University, organizers said Friday.
The Dec. 19 gathering will be held at Gersten Pavilion, a 3,900-seat sports arena at LMU’s Westchester campus.
“We welcome to the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates to campus, continuing LMU’s longstanding tradition of rigorous inquiry, debate and civic engagement,” LMU President Timothy Law Snyder said in a statement. “As a nationally renowned, highly ranked university in the Jesuit and Marymount traditions, LMU is a destination for world leaders whose ideas confront humankind’s most challenging issues. Together, we seek to create the world we want to live in.”
The debate was originally scheduled at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, but on Wednesday, Democratic National Committee officials agreed to move the event amid protests by AFSCME Local 3299, a union representing more than 25,000 University of California service and patient technical care workers. The union has been locked in a labor dispute with the university, most recently accusing the UC of outsourcing jobs to “lower-wage private contractors.”
Liz Perlman, the union’s executive director, said that the union had been reaching out to Democratic candidates asking them not to appear at UCLA to “honor the three-year boycott that we’ve had in place for any speaker attending any event on any of the University of California campuses.”
UCLA officials issued a statement saying the university had “agreed to step aside as the site of the debate rather than become a potential distraction during this vitally important time in our country’s history.”
The debate will be hosted by PBS NewsHour and Politico, and it will air live on PBS and be live-streamed across PBS NewsHour digital platforms and on Politico’s digital and social platforms.