Mayoral Candidates Again Miss Opportunity to Talk Tech and Job Growth in Final Debate

Wednesday’s final mayoral debate didn’t see any audience member ejections or instances of a candidate having their microphone cut off by the moderator—a noticeable change from the ruckus that took place when the candidates first squared off on October 10.

Instead, the debate got off to a much more civil start. Within the first few minutes, the candidates rightly praised the NYPD and the fortitude of the people of New York City in the wake of Tuesday’s terrorist attack. And while the remainder of the debate included a few interruptions and yelling matches, it was at least more substantive than the first meeting.

But, once again, there was a glaring omission: any discussion whatsoever of job creation, the economy, and how tech and other booming industries will support New York City for years to come.

This was our main gripe with the first debate as well. Having these topics omitted from the only two debates voters will see before election day is a serious disservice, especially considering NYC tech’s recent successes.

Take, for instance, the recent successful exits for NYC-based startups, including MongoDB’s IPO two weeks ago and Yext’s IPO earlier this year. Policymakers should be focused on how to build on this type of success in the coming years. Fortunately, NYC is well-positioned to maintain its place as a breeding ground for successful businesses like these, as the new Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island and other institutions incubate innovative companies and support talent that will positively impact all industries in the city.

This recent success is all the more reason to engage in a dialogue on how tech can continue to create jobs and help all businesses thrive. The candidates who want to lead our city need to show they are serious about supporting the tech industry—and job creators generally—but they unfortunately missed two opportunities to do so in these debates.

As a final reminder, election day is Tuesday, November 7. Mark your calendars now and show to up to vote for the mayor’s race and other important ballot initiatives.