The Working Families Party is enlisting help to put pressure on Michael Bloomberg for his refusal to accept an invitation to participate in a debate.
The WFP, one of the debate organizers, has launched an online petition saying the mayoral campaign is “already overloaded” with sound bites, and notes that Bloomberg’s two Democratic opponents have agreed to participate.
The debate, whose date and location have not been specified, is also being hosted by El Diario/La Prensa, one of the largest Spanish-language newspapers, and the Amsterdam News, one of the country’s oldest black newspapers.
The WFP's statement included quotes from a number of current and former officials.
Former mayoral candidate Fernando Ferrer said, “Let’s get past the rhetoric and the campaign commercials and start talking about the concerns and problems facing regular folks in this city struggling with the economic downturn.”
Newly elected Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said, “If candidates respect and value the contributions of our city's working class and minority communities, then I look forward to seeing them there."
“New Yorkers of all backgrounds need to know that the next Mayor will address their concerns,” said Representative Nydia Velazquez, who praised the debate organizers for “a forum for these conversations.”
Bloomberg’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Last week, the mayor's campaign refused to commit to participating in the event, saying they’d consider it “in the fall.”