Despite Postponed Forum, 78th Assembly Dem Primary Challenger Tirado Addressed Constituents


When life hands you lemons, plow through and make lemonade.

That’s exactly what 78th Assembly Candidate, Fernado Tirado, did despite the postponement of a public forum between himself and Assemblyman Jose Rivera. On Tuesday, the 78th Assembly Public Forum was canceled after a lack of response from Assemblyman Rivera. Even more troubling was the news that the Bedford Park Multi Services Center for Seniors had received political threats related to the forum.

IMG_2683 This did not stop Mr. Tirado from holding a small forum of his own in front of the senior center on Wednesday, where he addressed residents and took their questions. “I’m here because we are in the second lowest voter turn out district in the state when it comes to the assembly. Our people are disenfranchised and disenchanted from a process nobody feels anybody is ever listening too.”

Mr. Tirado questioned how the anonymous caller who threatened the senior center knew that Assemblyman Jose Rivera did not respond to invitations to the forum before any announcement of a cancellation was made. “The fact that people would go out of their way to prevent members of their own community from having this forum…that they would go as far as to threaten seniors and their place of recreation…is appalling.” said Mr. Tirado.

In a statement to The NY Daily News, Assemblyman Jose Rivera explained that his absence” is largely due to the venue’s status as a 501(c)(3) operation”, which he believes should not hold “political partisan forums.” According to the IRS, 501(c)(3) organizations are allowed to host a candidate forum as long as the forum follows certain guidelines, like giving each candidate equal discussion time and inviting all candidates to attend.

Fernando Tirado and an empty chair meant for Assemblyman Jose Rivera

Fernando Tirado and an empty chair meant for Assemblyman Jose Rivera

When asked if a forum will still be held, Mr. Tirado responded, “The forum will go on.”

To stay updated on the new date for the 78th Assembly District Public Forum, please check back here or visit The Bronx Chronicle’s Facebook page.

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