One of the most rewarding things about my job as news director at WAMC is getting to work on special events at our performing arts studio, The Linda. Over the years, we have produced well-attended political debates, forums on controversial topics in the news like fracking, immigration and the environment, and even an exclusive interview with Preet Bharara, who was then U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
These events offer us a chance to add to the public discourse and bring the WAMC community together under one roof, while also offering listeners near and far vital information about their community. It might sound pat, but we take this mission seriously. As Alan often reminds us, you can’t have a democracy without information.
This month, we’re proud to host the latest such event: a live debate among the Democratic candidates for New York's 19th Congressional district seat held by Republican John Faso on May 31 from 1-2:30 p.m. at The Linda in Albany. The primary and general election in the district are among the closest-watched in the country in this election cycle. Hosted by WAMC's President and CEO Dr. Alan Chartock — who hosts WAMC's daily Congressional Corner segment — the debate also features WAMC's Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne and Times Union Senior Editor for News Casey Seiler as moderators.
As producer of the Congressional Corner series, I spend a lot of time thinking about the members of Congress in our region — their votes, their public statements, their policy positions, and, especially in even years, their opponents. The roster changes a bit with every election and every round of redistricting, which is just how our founders envisioned it. Anyway, we view that segment and debates like this as a public service. You probably don’t agree with everything you hear on the show, but we hope that you learn from it — whichever district you call home.
The NY-19 debate will be broadcast live on the radio and at wamc.org. It is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. Doors open at 12:15 p.m.
After the primary June 26th, we hope to hold a general election debate as well. See you there?