On Thursday, June 13th, SOFSA, in collaboration with Housing & Homeless Coalition, CNY Fair Housing, Food Bank of Central New York, Jubilee Homes, Food Access Healthy Neighborhoods Now, LeadSafeCNY Coalition, and the Central New York Community Foundation, hosted a Community-Candidate Forum. Centered around the three key issues facing our community: Hunger, Housing, and Health. Utilizing a dialogue-style format, this event provided community members an opportunity to hear from candidates running for positions in the United States Congress, New York State Senate, and New York State Assembly.

Questions posed to the candidates reflected the non-partisan nature of the event, focusing on the management and remediation of Central New York’s crises regarding hunger, housing, and health. Event organizers, advocates, invited community members, and audience members were encouraged to ask questions related to these important topics.

Invitations to the event were sent to all 15 candidates and was attended by 10. Those in attendance were Sarah Klee Hood and John Mannion (running for US Congress NY-22), Rachel May, Caleb Slater, and Fanny Villarreal (running for NYS Senate District 48), Tom Drumm and Chris Ryan (running for NYS Senate District 50), and Ian Phillips, Pamela Hunter, and William Magnarelli (running for NYS Assembly Districts 126, 128, and 129 respectively).

“A lot of times the community does absolutely feel buried, but we need to continuously and continually and tirelessly remind everyone that we are planted, and not buried.”

Cheeki Williams, advocate/Singer/Songwriter/Poet

If you were unable to attend the event, or wish to reflect on the answers of the candidates, you can find the recorded livestream of the event on SOFSA’s Facebook account.

Read this article or this podcast for further coverage of the event.