New York City Campaign Finance Board Announces 2017 Candidate Community Forum Sponsors


This fall, New Yorkers are voting for their next city officials, including their City Council members. Eight of these City Council races are in districts in which the incumbents are not seeking reelection. NYC Votes, the voter engagement initiative of the NYC Campaign Finance Board (CFB), has launched a new program to bring candidate community forums to these open seat districts. These forums will provide voters with an opportunity to hear directly from the candidates in these races. The CFB is pleased to announce that the following organizations have been selected to host the forums: 
  • District 2: New York City Housing Authority Branch of the NAACP, Inc.
  • District 4: The League of Women Voters of the City of New York
  • District 8: Hispanic Federation, Inc.
  • District 13: Faith in New York
  • District 18: Garifuna Coalition USA, Inc.
  • District 21: Food Bank For New York City
  • District 41: Ocean Hill-Brownsville Coalition of Young Professionals
  • District 43: East Kings County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
All candidate forums will take place before the primary election on Tuesday, September 12th, 2017. Details on date, time, and location for each forum will be announced when available.

This program aims to increase voter turnout in NYC and provide voters with the tools they need to make informed choices at the polls. Organizations were selected based on their organizational capacity, demonstrated ability to conduct nonpartisan voter engagement activities, ability to meet program requirements, and plan to attract a diverse group of community members for the event. Selected organizations will receive a grant of $1,500.
"We often hear from voters that they don't have enough information to participate in local elections. We've launched the Candidate Community Forums initiative to change that. With local organizations at the helm, these forums will provide voters with an opportunity to meet the candidates vying for office, and to learn how they plan to address important issues in their communities," said Onida Coward Mayers, NYC Votes Director of Voter Assistance

"We are very excited about the opportunity to partner with NYC Votes to host a candidate forum in New York City Council District 18, to increase voter turnout and empower voters to make informed choices on Election Day," said Jose Francisco Avila, Chairman of the Board of Garifuna Coalition USA, Inc.

“The League is pleased to have been selected by NYC Votes to sponsor a candidate forum for City Council District 4. Voters will have an opportunity to hear directly from the candidates running in the September 12th Democratic Primary Election on issues which concern the City and the District, such as housing, child care, education, transportation, and criminal justice," said Laura Altschuler, Special Projects Coordinator of The League of Women Voters of the City of New York.

“For the first time in 12 years, the 41st City Council district will have a new council member. Ocean Hill-Brownsville Coalition of Young Professionals is beyond excited to partner with NYC Votes and the Campaign Finance Board for this forum where residents will be able to interact directly with the candidates, have their questions and concerns addressed and gain a better understanding of why their participation in local elections is critical for the growth and support of our community," said Andrea McCullough,Chairperson of Ocean Hill-Brownsville Coalition of Young Professionals.

"The East Kings County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. is excited to host a Community Candidates Forum in the 43rd District of Brooklyn in partnership with NYC Votes. For more than 100 years, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. has tirelessly advocated for the improvement of economic, educational, and health programs in communities nationally and internationally. Our organization has long recognized that voting is a fundamental right and is committed to enabling others to exercise this fundamental right in every election. The first public act of the Sorority was participation in the Women's Suffrage March in 1913. This forum is a continuation of a legacy of social justice and service, providing residents of the 43rd District an opportunity to hear from local candidates about their plans for addressing community needs and concerns," said Angela M. Williams, President of the East Kings County Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

"In a city where 1.4 million fellow New Yorkers struggle to put food on the table, effective representation for every community, at all levels of government, can broaden opportunity and improve lives. Food Bank For New York City is grateful for the opportunity to partner with the New York City Campaign Finance Board’s NYC Votes initiative to host a candidate forum at one of our member food pantries and give community members in Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, East Elmhurst, and Corona the opportunity to hear directly from the people who wish to represent them in City Hall," said Triada Stampas, Vice President for Research and Public Affairs of the Food Bank For New York City.

"Hispanic Federation is thrilled to host a Candidate Forum for District 8, a community we have deep roots in and continue to proudly serve. This forum allows our vital community in El Barrio to have direct access to the candidates who seek to represent them, and become informed voters on the policy issues that impact them and their families. We look forward to providing a platform for New Yorkers in El Barrio to have their voices heard!" said José Calderón, President of Hispanic Federation.

"The NAACP NYCHA branch is steadfast and immovable in our continuing goal to provide voter education to our communities. VIP (Voting Is Power), our civic engagement initiative, gives us an opportunity to empower the community and for them to be a part of the VIP team. We are excited about this opportunity to partner with the Campaign Finance Board to host a candidate forum for the residents in NYC Council District 2," said Lynn Spivey, President of the New York City Housing Authority Branch of the NAACP, Inc.

"Following the national election in 2016, Faith in New York's member congregations and leaders have been planning for local civic engagement work in the Bronx and citywide with a campaign called Faith Over Fear. We are honored that our members' work in District 13 is being recognized, and we look forward to continuing to educate the public about the candidates' vision for the district and the voting process while also educating our candidates on what faith-based social justice institutions and our members see as priorities for their communities," said Analisa Freitas, Bronx Organizer for Faith in New York.