Mayoral candidates discuss police reform, housing at forum

New York Elections
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NEW YORK — There are more than 30 contenders vying to become New York City’s next mayor. Included in the ever-widening field for mayor is a mix of familiar faces, newcomers, outsiders — and even a rapper.

Tuesday night, Greater Harlem United held part two of their candidates forum; the first slate of candidates squared off last Tuesday.

One of the moderators was PIX11 News’ Ayana Harry.

The discussion focused on issues that impact the city’s young voters and featured students Nathaniel Swanson and Serena Yang co-moderating with Ayana.

Former investment banker Art Chang, entrepreneur Christopher Scott Krietchman, President of the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers and spokesperson for the United Bodegas of America Fernando Mateo and Cleopatra Fitzgerald participated in part one of Tuesday’s forum. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, libertarian candidate Stacey Prussman and Founder and CEO of Evergreen Construction Barbara Kavovit were on hand for part two.

Topics ranged from the candidates’ accomplishments, resources for the homeless population, whether or not they support the “Defund the Police” movement, as well as mental health care, the elderly, the crisis in public housing and how the city could help restaurants amid the pandemic.

On criminal justice, Chang and Krietchman said yes to defunding the police and favored reforming and modernizing the NYPD, Fitzgerald said “reform” and root up corruption, while Mateo said that we should “refund the police.”

Kavovit’s solution for public housing was keeping the private sector out of NYCHA, while Prussman called for a look into a public/private partnership and a pathway to ownership for NYCHA residents.

While the more than 30 contenders do seem like a lot, the June primaries will be the first New York City mayoral election primaries to use ranked-choice voting. The format will allow voters to choose multiple candidates and rank them by order of preference.

The primaries are scheduled for June 22.

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