3rd City Council District: Yetta Kurland is There, Christine Quinn is Nowhere
Yetta Kurland, who is rapidly gaining on incumbent, Christine "Bloomberg" Quinn, is having a hard time debating Christine Quinn because Quinn seems too scared to debate. Quinn has been a no show to four debates, showing not only her fear of debating Kurland, but also he disdain for the community she claims to represent. This comes from the Kurland campaign:
'Speaker Quinn Ducks Out Of Four Important Debates on Issues she Claims Leadership on in Her Platform for Re-Election Including Education, LGBT Youth, Good Government and Community Preservation'
New York, NY. Tuesday, September 6, 2009. Yetta Kurland, whose opponent is Christine Quinn in the hotly contested City Council race in the 3rd District, expressed outrage at Quinn's refusal to show up to four consecutive debates on central issues to the community.
"These debates highlighted key issues in the District, and issues Quinn has staked her re-election bid on claiming leadership in. Yet she is totally absent when it comes time for the community to ask her hard questions on what has really happened under her tenure as City Council representative for the 3rd District, and when its time to tell the community where she stands on education, LGBT youth, good government and historic preservation. How dare she claim to be a leader in these issues when she won't even show up to talk face to face with the people in our district about these issues?"
One of the forums Quinn ducked on was held last week at FIERCE, an LGBT youth advocacy organization. Kurland stated at the forum "I am saddened that [Quinn] is not here, LGBTQ youth have been ignored for too long. And you deserve to have all three of the candidates here tonight... We need our elected officials listening better."
Quinn was also AWOL at a televised debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters earlier this week.
"The League of Women Voters is perhaps one of the most important forces working for good government and fair elections in this City. It is unthinkable to me that she would refuse to attend especially given recent concerns around the extension of term limits."
Quinn, who is running against Kurland because she extended her own term limits so she could run for a third term has been sharply criticized by many for this maneuver, with claims of undermining the democratic process in City government because of her too-close relationship with Republican Mayor Bloomberg.
Today Quinn will be missing in action again at a debate on historic preservation sponsored by Historic Districts Council & The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. This is especially shocking given the fact that Quinn has claimed that neighborhood preservation is "the most important issue" to her in the City Council race, making numerous claims about her commitment on this issue including "stopping irresponsible development" and "expanding affordable housing".
"Anyone can claim they want to stop irresponsible development and expand affordable housing, but Quinn's absence in the only opportunity to debate these important issues speaks volumes. The simple fact is that under Quinn's leadership we have lost more affordable housing then ever before. Perhaps she does not want to come to this debate because she will be asked how it is possible that she supports the current proposed Hudson Yard development plan that offers not a single unit of onsite permanent affordable housing."
Most recently Quinn is now refusing to attend a debate on education sponsored by Public School Parents Advocacy Committee and Class Size Matters.
"It is unthinkable that my opponent would refuse to show up to talk with parents and educators about the crisis in our education system just days after she sent out a mailing extolling her leadership in education and claiming that she "is always there for our kids".
In fact the only debate Quinn agreed to attend was a forum organized by the Villager and Gay City News two papers who endorsed Quinn and who held a tightly guarded debate format in which much press and many community members were unable to attend.
"We in the 3rd District have a right to representation, too." Kurland said. "This backing out of local debates is typical of Quinn's attitude toward the residents here. We just don't count in her eyes. She had something more important to do. She is better than us.
"The people of this district are crying out for a voice to articulate their concerns and to deal with them. Political leaders must - absolutely must - communicate with the people, so that they draw upon the people's wisdom and strength. I am doing that in this campaign.
"In quitting on communicating with the people, Quinn is, in effect, quitting her job," Kurland said. "I am ready to take her place."
Maybe this is why Quinn is so afraid:
Yetta Kurland has been endorsed by Democracy for NYC, New York Community Council, New York Blade, 504 Democrats (focused on disabled rights), OutPOCPAC, Downtown Independent Democrats, GO Magazine, and New York League of Humane Voters.