New York, NY—The West Side Democrats hosted a virtual mayoral forum this evening to hear from the leading Democratic candidates who provided the reasons why they’re running to be the 110th Mayor of New York City.
First up was Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams who said that he gets it that people have a lot of anxiety right now because ground floor retail stores are closing, gun violence is increasing, that people are losing their homes because they’ve become unemployed and that graffiti is everywhere.
“I’ve been through a lot, it’s time to have a mayor that has gone through a lot,” said Adams.
He was followed by Shaun Donovan, former United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development during the presidency of Barack Obama, who said he was running because he grew up as a lifelong New Yorker in a different time of crisis in the 1970s.
“I believe that I am the best candidate to lead this city at this moment because I combine the biggest, broadest, vision for change with the deepest experience and leadership in crisis,” said Donovan.
Next up was former Department of Sanitation Commissioner, Kathryn Garcia, who said that New Yorkers may know about her thanks to her very long career in public service.
“When it comes to economic recovery, we are going to have to embrace what has always been the strength of New York City—our tough, resourceful and creative people, but we need an experienced hand on the wheel, this is no time to learn on the job, and that’s why I’m running for Mayor. And the fact is you won’t find a candidate with more executive and hands-on municipal crisis management experience than what I have,” said Garcia.
Then, Council member Carlos Menchaca said that he wants to bring a whole different way of how to think about government that starts with community.
“I’ve been a city council member representing Sunset Park and Red Hook and so much of what I have learned about what a mayor can and can’t do has been in fights with this administration,” said Menchaca.
“His [Mayor Bill de Blasio] entire time has been really removing power from communities to make decisions that are best for them…..so what I want to do is change that opportunity and give people the power.”
Menchaca was followed by the non-profit executive Dianne Morales who said she knew from a young age that she wanted to create change, that it is important to level the playing field.
She spent the early part of her career sort of searching for an entry point so that she could make a difference. She started off as a caseworker in a foster care agency and after that she ended up as a special education teacher at the same public school where she had first gone to kindergarten.
“On a spring day I went to my vice principal to propose an idea, and she said, ‘I don’t care what you do with those kids, keep them in the classroom, keep the door shut and keep them quiet.’ And it was on that day in that moment that I realized that if the fate of our children was in the hands of people who just didn’t care, I needed to do something different,” said Morales.
Next up was City Comptroller Scott Stringer who started out by saying that participating in tonight’s mayoral forum was sort of a homecoming for him because he started his political career on the Upper West Side.
“I’m running for Mayor because I believe I have the vision and the skills to build back our city economically because the future of our city is about maintaining our value proposition,” said Stringer.
Stringer was followed by retired Brigadier General and former Commissioner for New York City’s Department of Veterans’ Services, Loree Sutton.
She’s running for mayor because she wants to bring sanity and leadership to the city that she deeply loves and respects. She said that she wanted New Yorkers to know about her values.
“I lead with heart, honor, empathy, accountability, respect and teamwork,” said Sutton.
She said she draws her ideas from policy groups and think thanks as diverse as The Manhattan Institute and Regional Plan Association.
And the final candidate, civil rights attorney Maya Wiley.
“I am running to be the next Mayor of New York City because I know that this city, that our government, partnering with our people, can be one that becomes a city where we can all live with dignity,” said Wiley.