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Candidate Forum Scheduled for April 7, Meet The Democratic Candidates Vying for Western Queens Council Seats

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March 24, 2021 By Christian Murray

The Queens Post in conjunction with Sunnyside Community Services and Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement is hosting a virtual forum for the city council candidates of District 22 and District 26.

The candidates will be face to face at the live event that will take place at Sunnyside Community Services on April 7. There will be no live audience participation at SCS, given COVID-19. The event will be streamed LIVE via Zoom, Facebook and YouTube.

The first forum kicks off at 5 p.m. and will feature the six Democratic candidates running for District 22, which covers Astoria and parts of East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights and Woodside.

Leonardo Bullaro, Tiffany Cabán, Catherina Gioino, Evie Hantzopoulos, Nicholas Velkov and John Ciafone have all confirmed their attendance.

The second event features the Democratic candidates running for Council District 26, which covers Sunnyside, Long Island City, Woodside and portions of Astoria and Dutch Kills.

Sixteen candidates have confirmed their attendance for the April 7 event. Due to the number of candidates, they will be split into two randomly selected sessions. Viewers can tune in from 6:30 p.m. to 8:45 to hear from the 16 candidates.  The District 26 forum will include an informational session on rank choice voting.

The moderators will include Christian Murray and Czarinna Andres– co-publishers of the Queens Post–and Judy Zangwill, the executive director of Sunnyside Community Services.

“We are pleased to open our space and partner with Riis and the Queens Post to welcome the candidates for these two city council primaries,” Zangwill said. “Sunnyside Community Services prides itself as being a hub in the community.”

“While it is still not safe to host an audience in person, we hope community members will gather with us virtually on Zoom, Facebook or YouTube to learn more about the candidates.” Zangwill added.

Meanwhile, Christopher Hanway, executive director of Jacob A. Riis, added:

“The city elections this year are going to be extremely consequential,” he said. “We serve four public housing developments [in western Queens] and we want to make sure that we provide residents with an opportunity to be informed.”

The candidates will be asked a series of questions by the moderators. There will also be lightning rounds requiring “yes” or “no” answers. Additionally, the moderators will select two questions submitted by the public.

Another forum for District 26 and District 22 is likely to take place later this year prior to the November general election. That forum will feature the Republican and independent candidates as well as the winners of the Democratic primaries.

The public is asked to send questions for the forum to [email protected] by April 5th.

The Democratic candidates who have confirmed from District 26 are: Amit Bagga, Brent O’Leary, Julie Won, Jesse Laymon, Hailie Kim, Julia Forman, Denise Keehan-Smith, Ebony Young, Sultan Maruf, Badrun Khan, Emily Sharpe, Steven Raga, Lorenzo Brea, Jonathan Bailey, Glennis Gomez, Micah Peterson.

The event will be screen live via the following YouTube channels

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You can also view it live on Facebook. Please sign up on event page.

The public will also be able view the forums live via Zoom (link to come) and it will be on QPTV.

For more information on the candidates visit Queens2021.com.

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