On October 26th at the Malden Senior Center, Malden Access Television hosted a public political forum for the the Councillor-at-Large election. There were four candidates running for one of the three Councillor-at-Large positions. The three incumbents for  Councilor-at-Large running for re-election were David D’Arcangelo, Debbie DeMaria, and Craig Spadafora. Their challenger was Steve Winslow. At the forum, there were three panelists: Sidney Rodriguez from The Blue and Gold, Andrew Cardinale from the Malden Observer, and Bob Hale from The Massachusetts Senior Action Council. Panelists asked the candidates questions on issues happening in Malden and their positions on some major topics. Elections were held on November 7th, 2017 with Debbie DeMaria, Craig Spadafora, and Steve Winslow securing the three At Large seats. 

The following transcripts are of the introductory statements of incumbents David D’Arcangelo, Steve Winslow, Debbie DeMaria, Craig Spadafora. 

From left to right: Andrew Candinale from the Malden Observer, The Blue and Gold reporter Sidney Rodriguez, Bob Hale from Massachusetts Senior Action Council, Lisa Wong, former mayor of Fitchburg, MA, Craig Spadafora, David D’Arcangelo, Debbie DeMaria and [not pictured] Steve Winslow. Photo courtesy of Sidney Rodriguez.

Steve Winslow

“Thank you, Mayor Wong. I enjoyed working with you in fun in Fitchburg and the programs I’ve worked on through Mass in Motion. This is [an] unusual situation for me. I’m the ninth of twelve children and a “W”. I’m not used to being first but I’ll make the best of it. I really want to thank the moderator, the [panelists], the fellow candidates here, and the audience here and at home for giving me this opportunity to talk about why voting Steve Winslow for Councillor at Large is going to make a difference for Malden and will move Malden forward. You will learn tonight about how voting for Steve Winslow will ensure that the public's voice is heard before the city council. You will hear about how a vote for Steve Winslow will ensure that Malden has a plan for safe streets and to address our traffic congestion. And you’ll hear about how Malden will be working towards ensuring that we have affordable housing for all Maldonians so I appreciate this opportunity and I look forward to the rest of the time tonight. Thank you.”

David D’Arcangelo

“Thank you Lisa and thank you to MATV, Malden’s Media Center for putting this together, the panelists, my fellow councillors, and [my] challenger Steve. It’s David D’Arcangelo. I am currently one of three city council members at Large here in Malden I am asking for your vote to return another two years. Malden is on the move. Our housing values are up. Public safety is up and we are in a safe community. We are one of the most diverse community in the nation. These are all great things for the city of Malden...I really want to keep that going. The city council dynamic now is a good one, filled with plenty of rigorous debate. We certainly don't always agree, but for you at home it's a good thing, you want us debating vigorously and that's what we have been doing. So the city of Malden is a big organization 180 million dollars with a couple thousand employees. We got some great schools and we got a great school dynamic with a great public K-8 system, with parochial school, and the charter school that we have, even the extended education that we have; beauty schools, and driving schools, and other things going on in the city. So Malden is an education powerhouse as far as I'm concerned...I want to keep it that way. My number one priority is public safety–consistently funded public safety. We have a new police station out on Eastern Ave. I am very pleased that I have taken an active leadership role with bringing to bear. And then there’s other really great things going on downtown, like the development, and other things around the city. I think Malden is doing a great job right now. I am asking to get back there for another two years. If you have any questions, you can check out the information on my website, DavidforMalden.com or please call me any time on my cell phone, my personal number is 781-789-4580. And [I’m] looking forward to talking about important issues tonight and again [thanks] everybody...”

Craig Spadafora

“Thank you the audience, thank you Malden Access TV, distinguish panel...my name is Craig Spadafora. I’ve been a councillor at large now for five terms, and I am looking to go for a sixth term. It has been a great experience for me. I am humbled every time I get to come up to this podium to give the opportunity to speak. Like councillor D’Arcangelo said, Malden is on the move but more importantly, I have been up here several times before and I’ve been a bit negative and cynical of where the community is going. I can honestly say now the wind is behind us and Malden is on the move but more importantly we are on the map. Our diversity, our infrastructure, our new buildings, are absolutely making a difference for us. But more importantly the people [are] doing it in the process. I want to continue that process in making sure we have the ability to grow. We are centrally located not that far from Boston, and everything that we’ve been doing over the past ten years as community whether it be the council, the school committee, the mayor's office, has finally got us to this point and there’s a little bit of luck in there but there’s lot of work. And I’m proud to [have] been around for some of that work. And we’ve built new buildings and I’m very proud of those buildings but more importantly we’ve changed the ordinances to protect the neighborhood. Building is happening. I think we are at a point where sometimes enough of one thing is not good and I was proud to support the moratorium. But in the same token we've been talking about redistricting the waterfront, increasing our schools, increasing our green space, and making Malden a great place to live and I want to continue that mission. I hope for your support in November 7th. Thank You.”

Debbie DeMaria

“Thank you Mayor Lisa, Malden Access TV, all the panelists; Andrew, Sidney, and Bob for being here tonight. Thanks to our viewers, and to all those that are watching. To me, time spent is the best gift so, spending your time with me tonight is very valuable. It’s been a long campaign season but every constituent call and every email I receive reminds me how important public services is to me. I am married to my husband, Al for almost 39 years, a mother of three, a grandmother of three, and a proud resident of Malden. One of my recent successes was shepherding the Community Preservation Act from its beginning as a voter supported referendum to the formation of the actual committee. This will allow our residents to make the improvements and decisions about our historical sites, our affordable housing and our beautiful parks. As chair of the Citizen Engagement Committee, I had the pleasure of working with our arts community on projects such as our switch boxes—aren’t they beautiful? In ordnance committees, along with many other initiatives, we’ve have been able to weigh in on possible locations for marijuana dispensaries and their potential tax benefits. One of our long term challenges with be addressing our roads and our lead pipes. But as demonstrated by our efforts to rebuild and modernize the City Hall and Police Station, nothing is impossible. While I recognize the contribution of our long-term residents, including our veterans, I also welcome our  new members to the community. I imagine Malden, where residents who hail from around the world that speak 70+ languages, live in safe, respectful, and in harmony. That's what I imagine and I thank you tonight.”

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