BxNN to Moderate Debate of 33rd Senate District Candidates; Espada is Declining to Participate

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OK, first the details.

Nonprofit organizations Transportation Alternatives and Picture the Homeless are organizing a debate of the 33rd District Senate candidate that we will be moderating on Thursday, Sept. 2, at 7 p.m. at Fordham Evangelical Lutheran Church, 2430 Walton Ave. (right smack in the middle of the district).

Candidates Gustavo Rivera and Dan Padernacht have both agreed to participate and share their views and opinions on transit and other vital community issues. Unfortunately, the incumbent Pedro Espada Jr. has (thus far) declined to show up.

But Transportation Alternatives' Rider Rebellion Campaign, which is adamantly opposed to a potentially significant increase in monthly Metrocard fees (the cost could jump to $104, from $89), is not going to let Espada off the hook easily.

They are urging constituents of the 33rd Senate District – which stretches from Tremont to Norwood – to call Espada's office (718-654-4329), say they are outraged about the possible fare hike (which they should be), and demand that he show up next Thursday and tell them how he's going to stop the hike from happening.

In campaign materials, Espada is claiming he played a large role in saving free student Metrocards. Why wouldn't he want to let people know how he supposedly did it and how he could possibly save our current fare?