Report on MNN debates

Thanks to MNN-TV for getting the NY League of Women Voters to host two separate debates recorded on Oct. 9 among the Manhattan Council candidates for District 6 and 7.   The League’s  moderator who made up the questions was Adrianne Kivelson and each debate was to last 30 minutes.   Stina Gonzalez, the Green candidate for Council District 7 was supposed to debate Mark Levine. the Democrat, but he declined.  When Adrianne tried to get Stina to reduce her time to 15 minutes because her opponent did not show, Stina stood her ground and insisted on the full 30 minutes as was originally agreed.

I, Tom Siracuse, Green Candidate for District 6, debated Helen Rosenthal, the Democrat, and Harry DeMell, the Republican.  I challenged Helen’s typically Democrat empty rhetoric on the issues.  Housing and education  were the main topics.  Helen said affordable housing was critical in keeping the district livable and diverse.  I asked Helen why then did she support “inclusionary zoning” that enables real estate developers to get variances on zoning to allow bigger and taller high rise luxury new buildings in exchange for including 20% of then units as “affordable”.  I pointed out that most of these “affordable” units were not affordable for working class tenants.  The district is already awash with new high rise luxury buildings that further gentrifies the area and forces small business out because of the higher rents.  These larger buildings also cause more congestion and put stress on the infrastructure and environment.  I came out firmly against inclusionary zoning and proposed rent control for small business.  The Republican, DeMell,  proposed selling  public housing in the district for co-ops!   On education, he came out against mayoral control although he thought Bloomberg had done a good job.  Helen said that Bloomberg’s mayoral control was a failure but said that mayoral control under DeBlasio would be a success.  I came out against mayoral control.  I asked Helen, how could she as a Democrat, support a dictatorial school governance, no matter who the mayor is.  I proposed a democratic school governance in which parents and teachers had a say.  After the debate, Adrianne remarked that this was the only debate she attended in  which there were a clear difference of views.  She was  asked if the League of Women Voters would organize a debate among all the mayoral candidates in the general election.  The League had already organized one for the Democratic candidates in the mayoral primary.  She said that it would be too difficult to have a debate among all of the eleven mayoral candidates and what criteria would be used to reduce the number?  Where there is a will there is a way.  Why not extend the time of the debate from 30 to 60 minutes or have three debates, for 3 or four candidates at a time?  It seems to me that the League was not that interested in giving independent candidates an opportunity to get their message out to public.Report

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Report on MNN debates

  1. GreenRedJohnRey

    Thanks, Tom.

    Your debating Helen Rosenthal on public access television marks a significant breakthrough for recognition of the Green Party, in general,
    and your campaign, in particular, as CREDIBLE–at least in the eyes of media observers. We should thank Helen Rosenthal for showing the courtesy,
    good form, and courage to show up for this debate; most Democrats would not show up under these circumstances. The Republican candidate should also be thanked,
    since the appearance of a Republican at the forum may have weighed on Ms. Rosenthal’s decision to participate.

    We should also thank the MNN producer or executive who took the initiative to make this forum happen (Tom, you may know this person’s name);
    Ms. Adrienne Kivelson, the LWV person who served as moderator,
    and Ms. Ashton Stewart the Executive Director of the NY City League of Women Voters.

    It is good that Stina stood up for her right to the full time when her Democratic opponent (Mark Levine) was missing in action.

    IT NEEDS TO BE EMPHASIZED AND REITERATED THAT ACCORDING TO THE INFORMATION WHICH WE RECEIVED FROM MS. ADRIENNE KIVELSON OF THE LWV THE MOVING FORCE FOR HOLDING THIS TELEVISED CANDIDATES’ FORUM FOR NY CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES IN MANHATTAN IS MNN, AND NOT THE LEAGUE;
    AND THE REASON THAT ONLY MANHATTAN CANDIDATES ARE BEING VIDEOTAPED IN CANDIDATE FORUMS THIS YEAR IS THAT THE PUBLIC ACCESS TELEVISION CHANNELS IN THE OUTER BOROUGHS HAVE NOT TAKEN THE INITIATIVE TO INVITE THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS TO HOLD SUCH DEBATES IN THEIR BOROUGH.

    IN THE PAST, SIMILAR DEBATES HAVE BEEN HELD ON BRONX NET PUBLIC ACCESS TV, BUT FOR SOME REASON THIS YEAR BRONX NET FAILED TO INVITE THE LEAGUE.

    I PERSONALLY HAVE CONTACTED THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS WITH QUESTIONS IN THIS CONNECTION, AND HAVE RECEIVED NO RESPONSE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR.

    OTHER BRONX BASED CANDIDATES SHOULD PICK UP THE BALL I THINK AND CONTACT BRONX NET AND GARY AXELBANK AND LET THEM KNOW THAT WE ARE NOT HAPPY WITH THIS BLATANT DISCRIMINATION AGAINST THE OUTER BOROUGHS, AND AGAINST THE BRONX, IN PARTICULAR, IN REGARD TO COVERAGE OF OUR BOROUGHS’ CITY COUNCIL RACES.

    PLEASE LET GARY AXELBANK, AND THE BRONX NET EXEC DIRECTOR MR. KNOBBE KNOW THAT THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS CLAIMS THAT IT IS SIMPLY WAITING FOR AN INVITATION FROM BRONX NET OR FROM A BRONX NET PRODUCER–PREFERABLY *BRONX-TALK* PRODUCER AND HOST GARY AXELBANK–IN ORDER TO MAKE THESE CANDIDATE FORUMS / DEBATES
    HAPPEN IN THE BRONX!

    AND PLEASE LET MESSRS. AXELBANK AND KNOBBE KNOW THAT THEY HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY HERE TO BE REAL CHAMPIONS FOR BRONX VOTERS BY EXTENDING THIS INVITATION TO THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS WHICH HAS NOT BEEN FORTHCOMING FROM THE BRONX MEDIA TO DATE.

    BRONX VOTERS ARE BEING SHORT-CHANGED–YET ONCE AGAIN!! AND IT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE! IT IS TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE, AND INDEED INTOLERABLE.

    THIS IS NOT SO MUCH ABOUT THE DISRESPECT AND MISTREATMENT OF THE GREEN PARTY (WHICH IS BAD ENOUGH!) AS IT IS ABOUT THE DISRESPECT
    AND MISTREATMENT OF THE PEOPLE OF THE OUTER BOROUGHS.

    IF YOU FEEL ONE TENTH AS STRONGLY ABOUT THIS AS I DO, PLEASE CONTACT MESSRS. AXELBANK AND KNOBBE FIRST, AS WELL AS OTHER MEMBERS OF MEDIA WHO COVER THE OUTER BOROUGHS.

    THANK YOU!

  2. Please contact my campaign team or me directly if you wish to volunteer to make media coverage of Green campaigns happen in the Bronx, and in the Outer Boroughs. ==John Reynolds for City Council-11, FREE!

  3. Tom Kennedy

    [rethink911.org] Read and then ask questions about it being a false flag
    operation by the gov’t. Asking about 911 will get us recognition

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