CHINATOWN — Constituents will soon get a chance to grill the six candidates vying for disgraced former Assemblyman Sheldon Silver’s 65th District seat, currently filled by Alice Cancel.
A handful of neighborhood organizations on Aug. 14 are hosting a “candidates forum” at the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, where candidates will take questions from residents of the Lower East Side and Chinatown on issues pertinent to the neighborhoods.
Topics addressed will likely cover concerns from low-income communities within the ever-changing neighborhoods, an organizer said.
“There are issues affecting both [Chinatown and the Lower East Side] which are low-income communities being impacted by measures the state could play a role in, whether is be issues impacting affordable housing, health, education, or bilingual access,” said Elizabeth OuYang of APA Voice, a coalition of groups advocating for Asian-Pacific-American civic involvement.
“These are critical issues impacting the very survival of Chinatown and the Lower East Side as low-income communities.”
Though Assemblywoman Alice Cancel won the seat during an April special election – called by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to fill the seat left by Silver, who had been found guilty of corruption charges — she now must face the five other candidates in a primary election in September and a general election in November.
Cancel will once again be up against Yuh-Line Niou, who ran against her during the special election as a Working Party Families candidate. Former Community Board 3 Chairwoman Gigi Li, community activist Don Lee, community organizer Paul Newell, and civil rights lawyer Jenifer Rajkumar are also running.
The forum will consist of questions posed by the hosting neighborhood groups, a question-and-answer portion inviting audience members to grill the candidates, and a “lightning round” on pertinent district issues, said OuYang.
Translators will be on site to translate to Mandarin, Cantonese, and Spanish, said OuYang.
The forum will be held at the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association at 62 Mott St. from 2 pm until 4 pm. More information can be found here.