On August 17, 2017 St Johns University was the site of a debate for the candidates for Queens Councilmatic positions. Regardless of party affiliation, all candidates were invited. The participant for Council District # 27 was Mr. Anthony Rivers and the candidates that participated for Council District # 28 were Adrienne Adams, Hattie Powell and Richard David.
Each of these candidates represented themselves well in their minute long introduction by giving the audience a little of their background and some indication of why they were a candidate for city council.
The format of the program consisted of a series of questions that each panelist had two minutes to answer, followed by a brief question(s) from the audience, followed by a series of lightning rod questions that required a (Yes or No) answer.
Although the answers varied by example or solution offered, Anthony Rivers, Adrienne Adams, Hattie Powell and Richard David generally agreed on several topics:
- Educational practices and policies that have children leaving or graduating from school without the skills necessary to earn a living need to change.
- Affordable housing needs to be a priority.
- Petty violations should not be an excuse to criminalize people/ the long term ramifications impact black and brown males disproportionately.
A question about the continued utilization of Stop, Question & Frisk was presented to the candidates. To explain why he had reservations about its continued utilization Mr. Rivers gave a quick history of Stop, Question and Frisk and how the inclusion of Comstat in1994 changed policing policies and the tendency for it to be used abusively in certain communities.
Adrienne Adams spoke about the history of shelters in CD #12, her consistent stance against the proliferation of shelters in CD 12 and the proclamation calling for a moratorium.
Hattie Powell recanted experiences of people who would be forever disenfranchised because a petty violation was treated as a criminal offense. Thus she is against prosecuting people for petty violations,
Richard David expressed the need to enhance afterschool programs to include coding, STEM and other technological skills necessary for our students to compete in today’s society.
St Johns University and the Tribune will be hosting another forum on August 18, 2017, for the candidates whose names will be on the ballot for city-wide positions.