Why the Open NYC Debate?

As the Gilded Age of Bloomberg comes to an end, New Yorkers have a chance to pick a truly progressive mayor. The Open NYC Debate will help them decide.

The Open NYC Debate is a collaboration of twelve progressive "netroots" groups -- organizations like MoveOn.org that use the internet to mobilize their huge constituencies. Together, we represent 620,000 voters in New York City. That's roughly as many New Yorkers as will vote in the Democratic primary.

The debate will be moderated by Bob Herbert, former columnist of the New York Times.

Who is Participating?

The diverse coalition of netroots groups includes a wide swath of the progressive movement: workers, moms, LGBT folks, African Americans, Latinos, environmentalists, feminists, Asian American and Pacific Islanders, students and many more.

How it works

The Open NYC Debate will allow any of our 620,000 members to submit a debate question, or vote up others' questions. This will elevate the questions that progressive voters care about most, publicly and transparently. The mayoral candidates, too, can monitor the most popular questions and prepare to answer them. If they do, that's great — it means they're listening to their progressive constituents.

Anybody can submit a question, which will immediately be posted publicly. To submit a question, we ask that you provide your name, email address and zip code. That way, people will be sure the question is coming from a New York City voter, and we can contact you if your question is chosen for the debate. Your name and zip code will be made public alongside your question, but don't worry — your email address will never be posted publicly.

You can browse through all the submitted questions, sorted either by popularity (number of votes cast) or date (most recently submitted questions first) — and you can also view all submitted questions on a map to see where the questions are coming from.

Anybody can vote on their favorite questions. You can vote any number of times, but can only cast one vote per question.

Prior to the debate, moderators will then select the questions to be asked from among the top 50. If your question is selected, we may contact you by email. We reserve the right to remove questions from the site that contain vulgar language, advertisements, or other inappropriate content.

The debate itself will be conducted live on this site, streaming via Google Hangout. Participants will watch from all five boroughs, and beyond – from their homes, offices, community centers, or anywhere else with an internet connection. Live twitter feeds and snap polls will accompany the viewing, for a fully interactive experience.

The Open Debate Series

The Open NYC Debate is part of a new trend sweeping the world of election debates. The core principle is that election debates should be accountable to one constituency: the public.

Open Debates make candidate questioning more transparent and accountable. Anyone can submit a question, in public, and the questions are voted on by the people who most need to be informed about the candidates' positions — the local electorate. Candidates who will be participating in the debate are free to visit the site and monitor the most popular questions along with everybody else, if they want to prepare for the questions that are most likely to be asked.

By making the submission and voting process fully public and transparent, Open Debates ensure that the topics covered in election debates reflect the interests and priorities of the voters, rather than campaign operations and corporate media.

About Bold Progressives.org

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (BoldProgressives.org)

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) is an organization powered by nearly 1 million members nationwide, including over 130,000 members in New York, that builds long-term progressive power. We elect bold candidates to Congress and mobilize around progressive policy priorities. Our recent work includes campaigns to expand Social Security benefits, break up Wall Street banks that are "too big to fail", pushing to restore Glass-Stegal, and supporting Elizabeth Warren's student loans bill. In 2012 we successfully helped to elect 32 bold progressive leaders and raised over $2.5 million in small-dollar donations for our endorsed candidates.

Founded in 2009 by Adam Green, a former MoveOn online organizer and a press secretary and communications director on numerous campaigns, and Stephanie Taylor, former MoveOn and SEIU organizer, the PCCC has been at the forefront fighting for progressive change ever since.

The Nation magazine awarded PCCC “Most Valuable Campaign” of 2011. MSNBC’s Ed Schultz calls PCCC “the top progressive group in the country.”

We also advocate for bold leadership on the most important and pressing causes. Read about our team, campaigns, and sign up to join our fight.

If you are running for office, find out how we can help.

For press and partnership inquiries, please contact us.