Flatiron Hot! Pundit: Forum at Hudson Guild-Elliott Center shows ALL the Mayoral Candidates
If you get all your news from mainstream sources, you might assume that there are only two candidates campaigning to become the next mayor of New York. You’d be wrong. In fact, there are actually 15 – and they truly represent the diversity of New York City’s Runyon-esque political scene.
Yesterday, at the Hudson Guild/Elliot Center at an event co-sponsored by Penn South Social Services, Chelsea for Peace, the Elliott-Chelsea and the Felton House Tenants Associations, a diverse set of candidates attended a panel discussion dedicated to educating their fellow New Yorkers about just what they have to offer the city they all claim to love.
Front runners Joe Lhota and Bill de Blasio did not condescend to join the colorful gathering, but as is the custom with these types of events, dispatched representatives to speak on their behalf (de Blasio was ably represented by Cory Johnson).
Hailing from multiple boroughs and political parties, each candidate brought something unique to the table. Although they have no chance of winning, each man (interestingly, there were no women on the panel) encouraged voters to consider important issues that have been neglected by mainstream candidates de Blasio and Lhota. We hope that our brief guide will give you some idea of what the candidates have to offer. They are listed in alphabetical order by last name so as to avoid the appearance of favoritism. You can find out more about them by clicking the links we’ve provided. And of course, feel free to check out our video for revealing snippets of the candidate’s speeches.
At times, Randy Credico sounded more like a stand-up comedian than a candidate for office, but there’s no denying that his points were substantive. As you might have guessed, Credico advocates sticking it to Wall Street in a way even the populist Bill de Blasio would deem radical. Although his proposals often seemed impractical (“make college free to every high school graduate, make bus and subway fares free… demand jail time for crooked bankers), he was sufficiently convincing to make us ponder why that is the case.
Much like his contemporaries in the national Green Party, Gronowicz emphasizes pressing environmental issues. Listed in his pamphlet are some policy prescriptions: “Divest from all fossil fuels, promote alternative green energy… Ban “fracked gas” pipelines.” Regardless of whether the mayor has the power to take these vital steps, Gronowicz is to be commended for putting them in the spotlight in whatever way he could. On other issues, he took typical progressive positions, such as putting an end to stop-and-frisk, defending civil rights/liberties, and decentralizing public education.
Dogged and no-nonsense, McMillan excoriated the status quo in New York City with a populist fury that no other candidate on the panel matched. Adopting the style and cadences of the black church, McMillan took landlords to task for screwing hardworking people and getting off scot-free. Granted, his platform seemed rather limited in scope, focusing on one issue at the expense of others. But there’s no denying that McMillan, who has honed his rhetorical skills in other mayoral races, captured the justified outrage of many New Yorkers struggling to pay the rent.
Erick Salgado (Vote School Choice Party):
Despite the name of his party, Salgado focused the most on immigration reform and strengthening social programs to provide services for the immigrant population. Frequently breaking into Spanish, Salgado was concise and to the point, speaking with clarity and purpose. In terms of education policy, Salgado proposed empowering parents to take a more active role in their childrens’ educations, allowing them to hold teachers accountable by means of a grading system.
Check back at Flatiron Hot! News – we’ll be updating our short list as we collate and gather more material and video content.
See below for actual footage caught by Flatiron Hot! News staffers from Tuesday’s events: