Scott Stringer (D) and Michel J. Faulkner (R) went head-to-head to answer YOUR questions in a groundbreaking Open Debate moderated by NY1’s Errol Louis, and co-hosted by the Open Debate Coalition, NY1, Civic Hall, Politico, WNYC (NPR), Citizens Union, Intelligence Squared, and the Latino Leadership Institute.


Welcome to the
NYC Open Debates

Ask the candidates for NYC Mayor, Comptroller, and Public Advocate about the issues that are most important to you -- then vote and tell others! Watch the Open Debate for NYC Mayor right here on Tuesday, October 10, at 7:00 pm EDT. 50% of the questions will be chosen from among those that receive the most votes online. NOTE: Questions must not name or allude to any candidate and must be able to be posed to any candidate.
0046133total votes
30 days 12 hrs 5 mins until the event

Participation Guidelines


The participation guidelines and platform moderators are in place to create a safe, welcoming environment for all users, to make sure your question is eligible to be asked on TV and livestreams, and to protect the integrity of the voting process. The guidelines that help us accomplish that are as follows:

  • No hate speech, graphic content, threatening or abusive language, or profanity.
  • No commercial promotion, spam, or other unrelated content.
  • No trolling (questions offered without intellectual honesty or in effort to discredit the site).
  • All submissions must be worded as a question.
  • Questions must not name or allude to a candidates and must be able to be posed to all participating candidate. (This is to curtail gotcha questions, avoid statements that are directed at candidates instead of posing questions, and to keep the focus on issues of long-term import to voters.)
  • Questions must be germane to the goal of understanding more about the candidates' platforms, positions, policies, background, and values.
  • Only one vote per person per idea is permitted.


We reserve the right to remove questions that violate these terms, and to remove and reverse suspicious or fraudulent voting activity. All linked content will be reviewed to make sure it adheres to these criteria and is relevant to the question before being published.

In addition, we reserve the right to re-categorize submissions to better align with the overall organization of the site, and to modify, moderate, or combine ideas to maintain the integrity of the voting process and the quality of user experience. This includes the right to remove submissions that are duplicates.

We define a duplicate as any question that shares the same or very similar intent as a previously submitted question. The point of the question platform is to measure the true support for unique questions. Having multiple submissions of a single question dilutes the votes and advocacy for it. Dozens -- and sometimes hundreds -- of new questions are submitted each day, and a great deal of them bear close similarity to existing questions on the site. For similar questions, we aim to herd together questions that would ultimately reveal the same distinctions between candidates or understanding of a single candidate’s position on an issue.

Example of questions considered to be duplicates:

(A) “What steps would you take toward ensuring that college students don’t enter the workforce saddled with debt? I have over $50K in loans and can't afford to buy a house or start the small business I was planning for.”
(B) “How would you reduce students’ post-college debt-load?”

In that case the intent of the question is the same, but the wording and the supporting text are different. In addition, one of the aims of Open Debates is to bring the perspectives of voters onto the stage with the candidates, so questions that provide personal stories or connection to the question will be given preference.

We have implemented several measures to ensure the transparency and fairness of all changes.

First, moderation is a community effort. Users may flag questions for violations of the Participation Guidelines and suggest merges between similar questions.

Second, a team of well-respected experts from a diverse range of organizations and websites is available to weigh in on questions of policy when the similarity between questions is ambiguous.

Third, authors will be notified of all changes made to their submissions and given the chance to clarify their intent or request a reversal.

Best practices

Beyond the hard-and-fast rules listed above, these tips will help you win more votes, increase your question’s chance of being selected for the live event, and get the answers you’re looking for from candidates.

  • Make it personal! Questions that provide personal stories or connection to the question will be given preference over questions with no context or an overtly political bent.
  • Open-ended questions that call for a detailed response are better than yes/no questions!
  • Limit each question to a single, clearly articulated topic. Be specific!
  • Americans are tired of “gotcha” questions and the endless focus on the political horserace. Focus on serious questions of policy and the votes will follow.
  • Submit questions as an individual, not as an organization. This debate is about the concerns of regular voters, and thus preference will be given to questions that were submitted by individuals.
  • Make it current. Well-researched facts or statistics to back up your question are always good, and tying it to something current in the news can really catch voters -- and moderators' -- eyes.