Mount Vernon Mayoral Candidate Interviews

On June 25, 2019 there’s a Democratic primary for Mayor of Mount Vernon, NY.
The candidates are incumbent Mayor Richard Thomas, City Council President Andre Wallace, Yonkers YMCA President/CEO Shawn Patterson Howard and former Mount Vernon Police Commissioner Clyde Isley. I asked all 4 to join me for one on one conversations, and each of them scheduled interviews except Mr. Wallace.

All three interviews were recorded on Saturday, June 8, 2019 in Mount Vernon at DNK Studios.

Clyde A. Isley
Shawyn Patterson Howard
Richard Thomas

The podcasts are also searchable on Stitcher, Apple, Google, Spotify and other platforms.

The content is identical on all platforms, just trying to make it as convenient as possible for you to consume. It means a lot to me when you like, subscribe and best of all, COMMENT!!

Mount Vernon Mayoral Debate, June 3, 2019, audio playback

Here’s a simple link, in case the player above isn’t working right.

0:00 Intro, Rev. DeCohen
2:35 Intro, Rev. Richardson
7:58 Intro, Isley
12:35 Intro, Patterson-Howard
22:25 Intro, Thomas
31:10 Intro, Wallace
40:53 Question: Dignity, all candidates
47:52 Question: 7 Criteria, all candidates
58:54 Question: Mt. Vernon Challenges, all
1:04:48 Question: Collaboration, all
1:12:00 Question: Porcari indictment, Thomas
1:15:28 Question: Lawsuits, Wallace
1:18:36 Question: Party loyalty, Isley
1:20:40 Question: Spezio/Zamor, Patterson-Howard
1:24:13 Question: Economy/jobs, all
1:31:06 Question: Zombie property, all
1:37:00 Gentrification, Rev. Richardson
1:38:35 Question by Thomas to Patterson-Howard, Personnel
1:43:20 Question by Isley to Wallace: Council inaction
1:45:07 Question by Patterson-Howard to Thomas: Payment process
1:47:22 Question by Wallace to Isley: Personal finance
1:49:44 Question by Thomas to Wallace: Planning Dept break-in
1:52:33 Question by Wallace to Patterson Howard: Why were you silent?
1:55:15 Question by Patterson-Howard to Wallace: Governance
1:57:29 Question by Isley to Thomas: Water Dept
2:00:51 Closing: Rev. Richardson

Mt. Vernon (NY) Street Tour : West to North

This is my third street tour video in three weeks, and my second one driving through Mt. Vernon, NY. I’m trying to get a style going here. Any feedback on this would be highly welcome. Here’s a playlist with all my street tours, so far.

Mueller Report: Read-A-Long

The only way to know what’s going on is to read it yourself. I couldn’t take in the whole entire thing, but I read about 80 pages, mostly word for word, and you can watch and listen as I do it in these 3 videos. Done is better than perfect.

What’s the bottom line? Trump and his people knew that the 2016 election was being cooked by multiple Russian interventions, and they benefited from it. Congress will have to decide whether to impeach. Either way, if I had reason to believe everything is going to be OK in the end, I would so say.

Street Tour: Minneapolis / Mall of America

This is a quick 7 mile street tour From St. Paul to Mall of America, in Minneapolis, MN, along Minnesota State Route 5 West. Check out the Mississippi River along the way. The drive begins in St. Paul, crosses the River, around the MSP Airport and over the giant mall. Fun ride.

Pelham Schools Survey: Somewhat Disagree

Join me as I take the Pelham Public Schools survey. Pelham, New York is a suburb just north of New York City. The Board of Education and the District Strategic Planning Committee would like input to inform a new strategic plan. The survey is wide open to all, and you can take it as many times as you would like.

The instructions say, “…please feel free to take as many of these surveys that apply to you or take them multiple times for each child. “

While the survey is a genuine gesture toward community engagement, the method and the questions themselves make me wonder if the results will be, well, worthless.

Clearly, some people worked very hard on this, and I’ll assume goodwill. What’s most troubling is the consumerization of a public resource. The questions are framed as if public school is a product, and the deliverable is customer satisfaction. As if a district strategic plan is like a software feature release.

Public education has many purposes – preparing people to participate in society, preserving class structure, and you can fill a library with more objectives. In any event, the verdict on whether it’s working is impossible to capture on a Likert scale, and the jury should not comprise all people with a keyboard, regardless.

For those of you in the “Well, what is your suggestion?” crowd, I have a few:
1/ A single survey, not 9 surveys.
2/ Require authentication, and select a random sample.
3/ Max 7 to 10 questions, not 58.

Podcast | Kamala Harris: President, Prosecutor, Progressive

Here’s the podcast link, in case the player doesn’t work right.
Also on YouTube, if you prefer.
Who is Senator Harris? Prosecutor, progressive or vapid ’90’s political hack? We’re about to find out.

US Senator Kamala Harris (D) of California announced this week she will run for President.  In this podcast I share a few clips and quotes to suggest this is a serious candidate, with experience and depth, worthy of public trust.  She will need to bridge her credentials as California’s top cop with her positioning as a political progressive. Harris has a controversial criminal justice record, but that will make perfect sense if she can avoid vapid campaign dribble.


VOX Article by German Lopez
Kamala Harris’s controversial record on criminal justice, explained

Senator Kamala Harris On Education, Criminal Justice Reform & Why Debating Is Important
Interview from The Breakfast Club, With DJ Envy, Angela Yee And Charlamagne Tha God!

Podcast | Citizen Journalism in a Small City

A’tif Khalil is a citizen journalist focused on Mount Vernon, New York.  In this episode we discuss the challenges of covering stories about City Hall when you know the people inside, personally.    We also discuss a recent incident involving Mount Vernon’s Mayor along with Internet celebrity Fatboy SSE.  The two visited the local high school on Friday, January 12, unannounced, resulting in a disruption of the school day and suspensions. Khalil publishes local news stories in Black Westchester Magazine and on WBAI radio.

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