My attempt to accept the mayor’s challenge to debate his media critics has generated plenty of interest, from what I can tell, on social media, but
has yet to generate a response from Rob Ford or his office had not generated a response from the mayor as I began typing this post. So today I sent a follow-up email:
Dear Mayor Ford:
As a member of the Toronto media covering and commenting on city hall, I would like to accept your invitation to debate you. I wrote a letter to you publicly earlier this week accepting your challenge on the website of The Grid magazine, but have not yet heard back from your office, perhaps because you have been busy in Chicago, or perhaps because you have not had it brought to your attention. (You may refer to that open letter here.)
I’d like to repeat that I am willing to schedule such a debate at your convenience, and on terms (selection of the specific topic up for debate, for example) acceptable to you. My suggestion is that my employer, The Grid magazine, rent a hall and we can sell tickets to the debate, with the proceeds going directly to the Ford Football Foundation. I know you’ll agree the charity in question is a good cause, and I expect from the social media response to my original open letter that we could sell quite a few tickets.
I understand that between serving as the city’s mayor, as coach of the Don Boscoe Football team, and as a husband and father, you are a very busy man with a tight schedule. But I expect you’d find devoting an hour or two to such an event would be very worthwhile, as it would both generate money for a worthy cause as well as a lot of public attention, and would allow you to directly, publicly answer criticisms and arguments that your critics—me among them—often find go unanswered.
I look forward to your affirmative response, after which we can begin making arrangements to make this event happen.
I was excited to get an immediate response that arrived while I was pasting the above letter into this blog post:
Thank you for your email.
As I promised during the mayoralty election, I am dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city.
I will continue to work on behalf of the taxpayers to make sure you get the respect you deserve.
This note is to confirm that we have received your email and that we are looking into your matter.
Please feel free to follow up to check the status of your email.
Thanks again and have a great day.
Mayor Rob Ford
City of Toronto
We’re all in this together.
I’m glad to hear he and his staff are looking into the matter. I will keep you posted.