On Wednesday afternoon the City Action Coalition comprised of citywide clergy members held a mayoral forum in Monroe College King Hall located on Jerome Avenue. Local City Councilman Pastor Fernando Cabrera opened the forum speaking about what this forum was about. Councilman Cabrera then introduced Steven Jerome President of Monroe College who gave a fine description of the 80 year old institute which offers a wide variety of courses.
City Comptroller John Liu, Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio, former City Comptroller Bill Thompson, Former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, Reverend Erick Salgado, Former city councilman Sal Albanese, and Randy Credico. were on stage seated to be questioned by Bishops Hudson and Rodrigues who were moderating the forum. The crowd of a little more than 100 people at the start turned into over 200 by the time the forum was over.
Public Advocate Bill Deblasio was first to speak talking of how the city has become a tale of 2 cities, some what similar to what was said in 2005 by then mayoral candidate Freddy Ferrer. Lawyer Randy Credico was next who said that he would fight for the people, as he did in the Occupy Wall Street movement that he was a part of. Bill Thompson said that he would end the "Stop & Frisk" police policy, fight for better schools, and keep the city affordable.Reverend Erick Salgado said the city needs a leader who will represent all the people, that he was stopped but never frisked, and he will work with all the Bishops and Pastors. Adolfo Carrion said that it is good to be back in the city council district he once represented, and little more. Sal Albanese spoke about the political system ,and how he wants to change the education system saying that poverty is the real problem for poor schools. City Comptroller John Liu was last saying that for the past three years as comptroller he has cut waste and returned millions of dollars back to the city coffers. Liu added that the tone of the city must change to help all the people of the city.
Questions ranged from Mayor Bloomberg banning faith based organizations using schools to who each would appoint chancellor and police commissioner. All seven candidates agrees that faith based organizations should be allowed to use schools when school in not in session. DeBlasio said that he was appalled that Mayor Bloomberg gave two months notice. John Liu said that these faith based organizations have used schools for 20 years, and that these organizations are the first place people go in emergencies.
None of the candidates would name who they would choose as Chancellor or police commissioner, all agreed that the chancellor should be an educator and the police commissioner would not be the current one Ray Kelly.
Highlights of the forum - John Liu- "Get rid of some corporate subsidiaries that are producing nothing, and put the money into new educational needs from pre-k to college advisors". Bill DeBlasio- "Tax the rich". Adolfo Carrion - "schools need to teach the basics of sex education". Bill Thompson - "Joel Klein, Cathy Black, and Dennis Walcott were not educators as chancellors". Sal Albanese - "Legalize Marijuana and tax it". The best line came from Randy Credico when he said about legalizing marijuana "I'm the only one up here who will admit they smoked pot".
Right - Mayoral candidate Bill Thompson at the microphone.
Left - Candidate Randy Credico explains his position.
Right - While he waits to speak Bill Deblasio stretches his legs, a little to far perhaps as they stick out from under the table.