NEW LEADERS. NEW DIRECTION.
Let's Debate, but Gagliardi Must Answer Your Questions
Dear Fellow Musicians,
The local 802 election is quickly approaching. We are about 2 weeks away from election day and many musicians have asked if there is going to be a debate. Since the Musicians for Change platform and campaign is centered on accountability and transparency, we would like to share exactly where things currently stand.
For an entire month Gagliardi has been filibustering and wasting time. In October, Musicians for Change (MFC) proposed a 60-minute debate which would allow ample time for questions from the 802 voters. Gagliardi rejected the proposal, insisting on a debate format where he would be able to completely control the questions. To this day, he insists the Members Party see the questions beforehand and be able to veto any question they don’t like.
When Gagliardi publicly challenged MFC to a debate from his personal Facebook page, he claimed he wanted to “discuss any and all issues relevant to our collective cause.” This turned out to be false. Instead, Gagliardi wanted only seven questions on predesignated topics. Any question outside of those predesignated topics would be rejected. Under Mr. Gagliardi’s proposal for the debate, the Members Party would be able to vet all questions before the debate and would be able to veto any questions that they deemed to be “off-topic” or “irrelevant to the debate.” Gagliardi also wanted to require that each questioner state his/her name and Union ID number. MFC believes this is clearly meant to be purposefully intimidating and designed to deter tough questions.
On November 16th, Gagliardi informed us that he would now agree to open Q & A on any topic, and the questions could be posed anonymously, as we asked. But, he still insisted that the Members Party be able to vet the questions ahead of time.
If Gagliardi truly wants to debate, then he should stop trying to manage and control the questions.
And, amazingly, Gagliardi still opposes holding the debate in a neutral venue which is standard for any presidential debate. MFC proposed using a neutral venue back in October and we have since suggested either the Dimenna Center or St. Malachy’s Community Center.
Finally, I have already agreed to debate Mr. Gagliardi on November 28th, which was the one and only date offered by the Members Party. If Gagliardi truly wants to debate, the Members Party would simply agree to book a neutral venue and to have a fair and democratic debate. Neither candidate should have the questions vetted by their own party ahead of time.
After weeks of delays I am still excited at the opportunity to debate Gagliardi and hopeful that he will agree to sensible terms. Such an exchange of ideas will help illustrate the contrast between two opposing visions for the future of Local 802.