The Hartford Votes/Hartford Vota Coalition is sponsoring a forum for mayoral candidates on Wednesday to discuss education, and unfortunately the front runner will be absent.
Mayor Pedro Segarra will not attend because, his campaign staff said, he has a conflict with a major fundraiser and a Democratic Party event.
The mayor's staff said he would make every effort to attend the forum if the date were changed. But Kim Hynes of Common Cause, one of the forum organizers, said she was told the mayor "was not doing any more forums" no matter what the date. Mayra Esquilin, executive director of Hartford Areas Rally Together, another coalition member, said she was told the same thing.
Mr. Segarra did attend two earlier forums held by the coalition, on June 8 and July 28, and has attended numerous other gatherings around the city. But he also should be at this one. It is scheduled just a week before the Sept. 13 Democratic primary, in which Mr. Segarra is being challenged by Edwin Vargas, and voters become more interested as Election Day draws near.
Another reason to attend is to support what the coalition is trying to do. Hartford Votes is made up of 14 civic and community groups whose aim is to increase voter turnout in the city. One way it does that is to sponsor candidate forums. The mayor ought to support this effort by appearing at the Sept. 7 forum.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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