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March 19, 2013

Who Should Be the Next Mayor of New York?

Discussions on a Wide Open Race

As St. Francis College plays host to a series of mayoral forums featuring the candidates for the 2013 election, the College also hosted a lively discussion on the challenges the next mayor will face with the forum, Who Should be the Next Mayor of New York?, featuring a selection of reporters and activist from across the political spectrum.

Panelists include: John Avlon (CNN), Michael Powell (New York Times), Maggie Haberman (Politico), Harry Siegel (Daily Beast), and Michael Meyers (New York Civil Rights Coalition).

John Avlon focused on the transformation of the last twenty years including the plummeting murder rate and cautioned that while the city has enjoyed a strong upward trend, it is not inevitable that it will continue and there is a real possibility the city can fall back.

Michael Powell pointed out that the next mayor will have to deal with a number of major issues like expired union contracts, a lack of affordable housing for a growing population and the struggle to maintain environmental gains.

Michael Powell, John Avlon, Maggie Haberman, Fred Siegel, Harry Siegel, and Michael Meyers.
Michael Powell, John Avlon, Maggie Haberman, Fred Siegel, Harry Siegel, and Michael Meyers.

Maggie Haberman said that there are two perceptions that should not be taken as fact. She said a republican candidate like Joseph Lhota could win the general election if a focus on things like competency is brought to the forefront. Also, she says that the candidacy of John Liu could help to draw enough votes that there will be no clear winner in the Democratic primary, opening things up for a surprise winner in a runoff.

Harry Siegel spoke about a detachment between the majority of voters in the city and the candidates. He said that there are a number of interesting candidates but they are playing to only a small core of interested voters.

Michael Meyers took issue with city media for not following up on claims by the candidates or for attempting to hold lawmakers accountable for their actions. For the next mayor, he said there needs to be more scrutiny of their decisions concerning things like the Police and the Department of Education.

St. Francis College Scholar in Residence Fred Siegel moderated the discussion. Siegel is also a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and author of The Prince of the City: Giuliani, New York and the Genius of American Life, has been instrumental in bringing a number of timely and provocative events to the College. Past forums hosted by St. Francis College include The Tension Between Catholic Schools & Charter Schools, Freedom Summer Revisted, Can You be Both a Business Success and Ethically Noble? and Lincoln, Grant and the Civil War.

The next two Mayoral Forums at St. Francis College will be held:

Tuesday, April 23 at 8:30am
Democratic NYC Mayoral Forum on Small Business and Workforce Issues

Tuesday, April 30 at 8:30am
Republican NYC Mayoral Forum on Small Business and Workforce Issues

Both events are sponsored by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.

Attached photo: Michael Powell, John Avlon, Maggie Haberman, Fred Siegel, Harry Siegel, and Michael Meyers.

St. Francis College, founded in 1859 by the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn, is located in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y. Since its founding, the College has pursued its Franciscan mission to provide an affordable, high-quality education to students from New York City’s five boroughs and beyond.


St. Francis College, 180 Remsen Street, Brooklyn Heights, NY 11201

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