By Kai Jackson
Thursday night’s Town Hall event ran successfully as students and members of the community had the opportunity to meet and hear from several Democratic candidates.
The event centered around candidates Mondaire Jones, David Buchwald, and David Carlucci who are all running for the U.S Congressional Districts of Westchester and Rockland Counties.
Jones has worked in the Justice Department under former President Barack Obama as well as for the Westchester County Law Department. If elected he plans to fight for causes such as the Green New Deal, student debt forgiveness, universal healthcare and criminal justice reform.
Carlucci represents the 38th Senate District for Rockland County and is currently Chairman of Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities. He has addressed issues such as tobacco use and access to clean drinking water.
Buchwald was elected to the New York State Assembly in 2012 and has a record with addressing environmental issues. He introduced an amendment to enable courts to strip government pensions from officials convicted of corruption connected to their public duties. Buchwald also served on the White Plains Common Council where he was an advocate for the environment and senior citizens.
The Town Hall event was initiated out of a passion to bring a closer look at the current race and to hear what the candidates for 2020 have to bring to the table as public servants.
The event sparked buzz and attracted reporters from News 12 Westchester along with several Purchase NYPIRG members. Buchwald, Carlucci and Jones all seemed to have made good impressions on Thursday night’s audience, despite being hit with challenging questions.
The questions were provided by a diverse range of Purchase students and presented by host and Purchase student Max Micallef who took it upon himself to initiate the Town Hall event.
“Purchase is very much a progressive hub within a wealthy base of old-school, establishment Democrats,” said Micallef. “I made the Town Hall centered around the Democratic primary so that we could closely examine where each of the candidates stand.”
While most of the questions were open to all candidates, there were some that addressed the politicians directly. One pressing question directed towards Carlucci expressed disappointment in Carlucci’s past affiliation with IDC, a company criticized by activists.
“We needed to reach across the aisle to get certain things done. The reality is my record speaks for itself and I ask you to look at that,” said Carlucci. “What bills did you put your name on, what bills did you actually vote for? When push came to shove what did you get done?”
Other questions addressed various topics such as the LGBTQ community, the Green New Deal, voter inclusion and issues with climate change and the U.S economy.
On a question regarding the LGBTQ community Jones shared his backstory and where he stands on the treatment of the LGBTQ community.
“Thank you for paying attention to the fact that billions of people all throughout this country have been forgotten and shut out of our political process and that it has taken the agitation of members of the LGBTQ community, to which I count myself as a member of, and our straight allies to really bring our issues to the fold,” said Jones. “As many of you will know already if elected I will be the first openly gay black member of congress in U.S history. It is a shame that has not happened.”
The Democratic Town Hall event would add on to the collection of politically related occurrences this month. Earlier this month protesters opposed President’s Trump’s visit at Madison Square Garden for a UFC event (see video below). Later that week protesters marched to Trump Tower. And most recently, protesters were also present during his Veteran’s Day speech in NYC.