2022 Meet the Candidates for Eire County

Independent Perspective 1719, 2022 Meet the Candidates Forum for Eire County.

Host:  Welcome to Independent Perspective, a public affairs presentation of Western New York Independent Living (WNYIL). Our guest today is Mike Benson, Chief Community Engagement Officer with WNYIL and I'm your host Ernie Churchwell. Welcome to the program, Mike.

Guest:  Thank you, Ernie.

Host:  You're with us today because you have the lowdown on the Erie County version of an event that we've already discussed for Niagara and Genesee, Orleans, Wyoming counties, namely, Meet the Candidates forum. First, can you tell us the importance of participating in this? Why should people with disabilities participate in the November election? And what's the importance of attending the Meet the Candidates forum?

Guest:  It's no surprise that an educated voter is a good voter. People who know the stance of our elected officials and people who want to be an elected official, that's so important to good voting. So, knowing how they stand on fair pay for home care, knowing how they stand on other issues and legislation that reflects on people with disabilities. So, our annual Meet the Candidates Forum is an opportunity for voters to discuss and ask questions firsthand to our people running for office.

Host:  Alright, and we'll repeat it at the end, but can you tell us when and where it takes place?

Guest:  In Erie County, it's next Wednesday, October 19, from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.  People have the opportunity to attend in person at our offices at 3108 Main Street in Buffalo. Or they can participate by Zoom. Or if they want to, they can watch it live streamed on Facebook or on YouTube.

Host:  All right, and you’ll give a number at the end where people can call to get all the URLs and whatnot that they need to connect to those online sources.

Guest:  Right.

Host:  So, people have an idea, can you mention some of the offices that are going to be invited to this event?

Guest:  We invited everybody who's registered on the ballot for Erie County in November, so that starts with the two candidates for Governor, Kathy Hochul and Lee Zeldin. It includes the Comptroller, the Lieutenant Governor, the Attorney General Letitia James is running against Michael Henry. Senator Schumer is running against Joe Pinion. We got a lot of people running for Supreme Court Justice. The big race obviously is for Congress. Nick Langworthy is running against Max Della Pia. So that's a big deal. And there's a lot of other competitive races.

Host:  Although that might not be so much the case in Western New York throughout the rest of the country, this midterm election is important because it could mean changing the balance of the US Senate and House of Representatives. And so that's certainly something to keep an eye on nationwide. And of course, even for the offices further down ballot. Why is it important that people pay attention to those candidates and what they stand for?

Guest:  Oh, I think I forget the adage, but something to the affect that all governance is local. But things that most affect us happen at the local level. So that could be Town Council, Town Justice, Highway Superintendent, the Police Chief, those kinds of things. So, a lot of our municipalities, our villages and towns, for folks running for those offices, we've invited them to participate as well.

Host:  And what they often say is today's town Councilman is tomorrow's State Assembly person or State Senator. So, if you could remind our listeners when and where it takes place and give them a number they can call to get more information.

Guest:  Okay. Again, Meet the Candidates for Erie County is on Wednesday, October 19, from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. It'll be held 3108 Main Street in Buffalo at our offices. Registration is required people should call 716-836-0822 extension 146 to register in person or to get information on the Zoom link. Since our in-person attendance is limited, not everybody that registers will be able to make it if we sell out basically. It is free to attend.

Host:  Thank you so much for being with us, Mike.

Guest:  Thank you, Ernie.

Host:  You've been listening to Independent Perspective, a public affairs presentation of WNYIL. Our guest was Mike Benson, Chief Community Engagement Officer with WNYIL and I've been your host Ernie Churchwell.