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Candidate Debates – 2021 NYC Debate Program

The Debate Program is a cornerstone of the CFB’s voter education efforts. The program ensures that citywide candidates participating in the public matching funds program participate in debates if they meet the nonpartisan, objective criteria. Debates provide New Yorkers with an opportunity to compare candidates side-by-side as they discuss the important issues facing the city.

The CFB seeks sponsors to produce live debates for the 2021 primary and general elections for mayor, public advocate, and comptroller. Past sponsors include broadcast and other media outlets, academic institutions, civic organizations, and technology firms.

Sponsorship applications for the 2021 Debate Program are due by November 19, 2020.

An information session was held on Thursday, October 22, to provide prospective sponsors with information about program requirements and the application process. Watch video of the info session.

New York City's charter-mandated debate program is conducted under the umbrella of the CFB's nonpartisan voter engagement initiative, NYC Votes. The 2021 primary elections will be the first citywide elections conducted under ranked choice voting.

2021 Debate Program Applications Received

Lead Sponsor





League Of Women Voters of NYC


Univision 41 Nueva York / WADO-AM


Hispanic Federation


NAACP NYS Conference






NewsRadio 880




Common Cause NY




Telemundo 47




Citizens Budget Commission


New York Urban League


Spectrum News NY1


WNYC - Gothamist


The City


Citizens Union


Social Work Votes
(Columbia School of Social Work & Latino Leadership Institute)


John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Past Debate Information

Past Debate Videos