Zack Reed Challenges Frank Jackson to Four Neighborhood Debates

click to enlarge Zack Reed, Mayoral Candidate Forum, Clark-Fulton VFW (6/26/17) - Sam Allard / Scene
Sam Allard / Scene
Zack Reed, Mayoral Candidate Forum, Clark-Fulton VFW (6/26/17)
Zack Reed's campaign issued a press release Monday morning challenging Mayor Frank Jackson to four "town-hall style" debates throughout the city in the leadup to the Nov. 7 election.

“While The City Club is a valued institution in our city, it should not be the only venue used for the mayor’s campaign and myself to debate the different issues and problems facing the City of Cleveland," Reed said, in the release, referencing a Scene story last week in which Jackson's campaign said the Mayor would only participate in the City Club's debate on October 19.

“Frank Jackson has denied the request of a creditable journalist in our city [WKYC's Russ Mitchell] to participate in a debate for unknown reasons, so now I am challenging him to debate me in the neighborhoods in front of the people," Reed said. "The issues of crime, safety, education and job creation are too important not to be debated in front of the voters."

The release proposed four events — on the northeast side, southeast side, west side and downtown — and suggested that Reed would be open to both campaigns "sitting down and deciding the format and moderator."

In a phone call Monday morning, Reed advised that we should "saddle up."

"We're taking this to the back alleys and the back streets, not the ivory towers," said Reed. "That was just how Lincoln and Douglas did it. That's what we're doing. We're taking this conversation to the streets and to the neighborhoods and to the people."