This year I had the opportunity to participate in two such forums. The first one was sponsored by the Franklin Square Library. It was an open forum. Candidates representing the public of that area were invited. Francis X. Becker and Frank Scaturro vying for the 4th Congressional seat held by Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy; Gary Port and Edward Ra competing for the latter’s seat in the 21st district; Michelle Solages and Sean Wright were running to represent the new 22nd Assembly District and Kemp Hannon and his opponent Ryan Cronin, running for the Sixth Senate District, were present. Another participant, Dan Ross candidate for the 7th Senate District also came. It was an interesting format in that the public could ask questions and those candidates who might be affected by decisions referring to the question answered the questions. Belmont Casinos were a problem; honest governance was raised among the many items asked. It was a local forum stressing local issues. The audience was interested and the candidates had well informed and succinct answers.
The second forum in which I participated was one at the Hewlett Woodmere Library. All three candidates for the 4th Congressional Seat were on the stage. Each candidate answered questions pertaining to fair employment monies for women, the end of wars in the Middle East and several questions pertaining to federal spending and the deficit. At this forum there was an exchange of answers regarding the barrage and quality of campaign advertising on the airwaves. Again, the forum came down to local concerns.
For the second hour, Brian Curran and Jeffrey Friedman running for Assembly District 21 and Harvey Weisenberg and David Sussman for the seat for the 10th Assembly District shared the limelight. Again, there were questions relating to current and close to home issues. Each candidate answered the questions and tried diligently to make his case for election to his chosen seat.
A side bar of interest was that there were people in the audience from Freeport and they were there because they had been redistricted and were now in the 4th Congressional District. All local high schools had also been invited and young people were in the audience and asked questions. I feel that this is yet another example of the importance of the presence of the League of Women Voters in the election process. Voting and all aspects of it are integral to the democratic process.
Patricia C. Sympson, PhD.