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Niagara Falls City Hall

Tom Christy has seen enough. And he’s not the only one.

In his many talks with people throughout the city, Christy often hears a version of “you know what we need ...” Relative to this years’ Niagara Falls election one comment from a block club leader made a lot of sense.

“This person said to me ‘instead of one debate at the end of any campaign, we should have a monthly discussion. We should talk with the candidates often, rather than just quiz them once’. I thought that is gold. We have to make this happen.”

From that one comment has blossomed an online candidate forum, visible to as many people as possible, and offering the chance for as many civic groups as possible to be involved. The forum was the brainchild of a coalition of block club leaders, facilitated by the Civics Project, and promoted by the Niagara Gazette. The first Niagara Falls City Council candidate forum will be held this Tuesday, June 8, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. All six candidates have indicated their attendance.

People can tune in to the discussion through Both links can be easily found at the groups website at or via Zoom with a link found at

The forums, they will be 90 minutes in length and are designed to be focused on information, not debate. Gazette Regional News Editor Joe Genco will be moderator.

The first two questions will be

1) What is the role of a city councilperson? Both what is it now, and what do you think it should be changed to include;

2) in your opinion, what five issues are most important to the city right now?

The questions will be addressed one at a time

Two questions will open the forum with each candidate, drawn randomly, afforded up to 60 seconds to answer with a 30-second opportunity to respond after everyone has a chance to speak

The 2021 Candidate Forum is sponsored by the The Civics Project and Gazette as well as as a coalition of South End Block Clubs to bring positive change in the way candidates interact with the public. Sheila Zuni and Ruth Cooper along with Bob Pascoal, guests on the Civics Project, sought their sponsorship. The Niagara Gazette and Rotary Club of Niagara Falls are lead sponsors.

Other organizations wishing to participate in the forum are encouraged to reach out through the Civics Project to Tom Christy at

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