City Council District #12 Debate Initiative

Our Mission

Every school  should have a debate team. Every student should have access to the best debate education opportunities. Debate is one of the best academic programs to prepare students for college, career, and civic success.



District Schools and Students Served


Half of our work is debate tournaments every Saturday. The other half of our work is how we support our teachers, schools and students through outreach and starting and sustaining debate programs in schools. We have outreach coordinators in each Borough to support schools, train teachers, provide curriculum and professional development, coordinate local debate scrimmages, year round virtual support (webinars, emails, phone calls, etc), help teachers recruit and start debate programs at their school, and anything else needed to start and sustain a successful debate team. We provide assistant coaches and volunteers to schools to support their debate programs. We have all day teacher training conferences at least four times a year.


As a result we have successfully partnered with the following schools in the district to help create sustainable and successful debate programs through year round support:


District Schools Served:


Cardinal Spellman High School



Other District Debate Programs


Debate Club. All District students are able to participate in our debate programs for free. We have a Debate Club that serves students without debate teams at their schools. 


Special Awards, Recognition, and Media:


Our proudest accomplishment in the District is helping to rebuild and revive the debate team at Cardinal Spellman. We are proud of this because the Cardinal Spellman Debate Team years ago produced the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice, Sonya Sotomayor. 


“Sotomayor was schoolgirl with focus, determination, friends say”