Dianne Morales cancels PIX11 mayoral forum interview following campaign turmoil

NYC Democratic Mayoral Forum

UPDATE: Dianne Morales is scheduled to appear on the PIX11 Morning News Friday morning at 7:15 a.m.

NEW YORK — New York City mayoral candidate Dianne Morales canceled a planned PIX11 mayoral forum interview Wednesday afternoon after announcing the departure of several campaign staffers.

In a statement posted on Twitter Wednesday morning, Morales said a senior staff member and two additional staffers had left the campaign.

Just after midnight Thursday, senior staffer Ifeoma Ike tweeted that she had formally resigned because the campaign no longer aligned with her values.

Morales’ campaign manager, Whitney Hu, is also no longer part of the team.

Hu tweeted a brief statement about her resignation, saying she “would no longer be able to continue on the campaign until harmful actors were removed,” but continues to stand with the team as they call for a unionization.

The departures came following reports of alleged abusive behavior by senior campaign management.

Morales responded to the allegations Wednesday morning.

“Traditional political spaces have long disenfranchised Black and Brown people on campaigns. Our campaign works to intentionally center the voices of those who are excluded from politics and we acknowledge that mistakes have been made in our attempts to do this,” Morales said in the statement. “We believe in transformative justice in our city and on this campaign. As such, we are taking the necessary steps to address harm caused by certain staff on our campaign and to build accountability, and will continue to work toward building a movement of dignity, care, and solidarity.”

The mayoral hopeful said she sat with her campaign staff for several hours Tuesday night, listened to their concerns, and accepted responsibility as head of her mayoral campaign.

“Just like our city, we are at a crossroads of opportunity. We are attempting something that has never been done before. The steps we are taking on our campaign are also the steps a Morales Administration will take to co-create a city we hope to see — one that has never existed and one that does not shy away from systemic harm but sits with it to create a path forward, no matter how long it takes,” Morales concluded in her statement.

On Wednesday, Morales’ team asked to reschedule her PIX11 interview due to a conflict, although the interview had been reconfirmed just hours prior. Multiple attempts by PIX11 to reschedule the interview went unanswered.

Thursday, Morales released an additional statement amid reports of continued turmoil inside her campaign’s ranks.

The former nonprofit executive was invited to take part in an exclusive two-hour forum on PIX11 News after polling above 5% of voter support in a PIX11, NewsNation, Emerson College survey released on May 17.

In an additional flash poll released by PIX11 on Tuesday, Morales polled at 7%

Seven other mayoral candidates will participate in the forum, which will air on Thursday from 8 to 10 p.m. on PIX11 TV, PIX11.com and the PIX11 News app.

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