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Include all candidates in gubernatorial debates

Howie Hawkins of the Green Party should be included in all gubernatorial debates. Rob Astorino is currently challenging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to debates, but Hawkins has a much different perspective on the issues than either Cuomo or Astorino, who tend to agree on conservative economic issues.

Hawkins calls for a $15 an hour minimum wage, universal single-payer health care, a ban on hydrofracking, a Green New Deal to create 100 percent renewable energy for New York by 2030 and very important education issues that affect all of our children. Unlike Cuomo and Astorino, Hawkins is calling for higher taxes on the wealthy and tax cuts for most New Yorkers, increased state funding for public schools and an end to the war on drugs.

Voters in a democracy need to hear where all the candidates stand on the issues. While Cuomo has millions of dollars from his Wall Street backers to flood the airwaves with ads to make him look good and his opponents look bad, voters need real information – an opportunity to hear each candidate be challenged on his campaign slogans and forced to answer the difficult questions he would prefer to avoid. Only multiple debates can give us that. Give democracy a chance. Include all candidates in the debates.

Mindy Rosier

New York City