Statement regarding Third Council District Democratic primary debate

August 14, 2009

Community Media was very pleased last evening to have hosted a very successful candidate forum in the Third Council District Democratic primary race. Roughly 225 people were able to be accommodated in the debate hall and a nearby overflow room; approximately 45 people were unable to gain entry. We were very happy to have worked with New York University, which provided the space for a discussion that touched on critical issues facing the Third District and the city.

A tempest has sprung up this morning about the issue of "ticketing," which unfortunately has created a red herring obscuring the basic admissions policy that was always in place. Audience members were admitted on a first-come, first-serve basis. The ticketing was a counting mechanism instituted on the recommendation of security officials concerned about a crowd of people too large to be accommodated standing around for a lengthy period of time only to learn there would be no room for them.

The limitations on attendance were based on standard fire department occupancy regulations.

Press were welcome to attend, and some reporters made the appropriate plans to arrive early to gain access. Others who came later cannot fairly expect to be privileged over audience members who made efforts to arrive in timely fashion to gain admittance.

Community media reporters will be filing stories to be posted online as early as possible, and full video coverage of the debate is expected to be available online on Monday, August 17 at https://thevillager.com, https://gaycitynews.com, https://chelseanow.com and https://downtownexpress.com.