The Reverend Al. Sharpton (pictured above left) hosted the city’s first mayoral debate at his National Action Network headquarters Tuesday evening. Five Democratic mayoral hopefuls went back and forth on issues important to New Yorkers, such as closing schools and unemployment among communities of color.
One point of contention among the candidates arose when Sharpton asked if they would mandate residency for N.Y.C. police officers (Currently, many officers live outside of the city). Candidates Christine Quinn (pictured far right), the City Council speaker; and Comptroller John Liu (pictured left of Quinn), agreed on instituting a residency requirement for officers.
Public Advocate Bill De Blasio (pictured behind Liu) said no.
The other candidates, former Comptroller Bill Thompson (pictured left of Liu) and former City Councilman Sal Albanese (pictured left behind Thompson), were split on the issue. Thompson noted that he would like to implement such a mandate, but said that the cost of living in the city is already at an all-time high. Albanese agreed with that sentiment.
Sharpton used the opportunity as a segue into a discussion of the NYPD’s conduct and the department’s higher ups. When he asked the candidates if they would retain Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, the debate reached a heated point.