Boston Deserves Three Mayoral Debates

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In “Boston voters deserve more mayoral debates” (10/9/2017), the Globe argued that Mayor Walsh’s decision to limit the number of televised debates in the mayoral race to two is a “disservice to Boston voters, not to mention democracy.” We agree. In the last mayoral election, Mayor Walsh agreed to three debates with fellow contender, former City Councilor John Connolly. We hope he will do so again in this race. Bostonians deserve to hear how those seeking their votes intend to tackle pressing issues ranging from public transit to public education, from parks to policing, from rent rises to sea level rises, and more.

Debates inspire voters to think long-term and big picture about what they want for the future of their city and require candidates to defend the vision they offer and the work they have done toward realizing it. Debates contribute to the robust public sphere upon which democracy depends.

The 2013 election, with its many forums, offered a constant flow of creative urban solutions, which sparked high voter engagement. We’ve already missed out on a parallel array this year, contributing to dismal turnout in September’s preliminary election. But there’s still time for more debates.

 



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