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Staten Islanders turned out at Wagner College Thursday night to discuss election year issues with a panel of reporters.
CBS 2 political reporter Marcia Kramer, WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb, 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon, El Diario La Prensa’s Marlene Peralta and Common Cause NY’s Susan Lerner were all on hand as residents took turns raising questions they wanted put to the candidates.
Themes that had emerged from previous meetings included concern about affordable housing, education, and hospital access among many other issues.
The meetings are part of a “listening tour,” an opportunity for journalists to hear directly from the community prior to this year’s upcoming debates.
Education resurfaced as an issue at the meeting, with one questioner calling for reform of the Board of Education.
“Every person on the Board should be a professional educator,” said Harold Kozak of Great Kills, who also called for bringing back the civil service exam.
Kozak also was curious about candidate positions on matters up in Albany, particularly in the wake of the Vito Lopez sexual harassment scandal.
“I would like you guys to ask each one of the mayoral candidates, right to their face, do you support or defend [Assembly Speaker Sheldon] Silver?”
Silver has come under fire for his role in a secret settlement of previous sexual harassment claims against Lopez.
Access to Staten Island was also discussed, with another person calling on the candidates to state their positions on adding a bicycle and pedestrian lane or path to the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.
CBS 2 News, WCBS Radio 880, 1010 WINS, El Diario La Prensa, CUNY and Common Cause NY together have held one meeting in each borough. For a recap of previous meetings, click here for Manhattan, here for the Bronx, here for Brooklyn and here for Queens.