This time, the candidates for the Ward Three City Council seat got to speak their minds.
The last time four of the five declared office seekers got together – on June 15 at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School – they just sat and listened to the concerns of their constituents. However, on Tuesday evening at the same venue, they got to respond.
The event was the second in a two-part series sponsored by the Summit, Mount Hope and Observatory Neighborhood Associations that featured an “undebate” and then a traditional exchange.
After welcomes by MHNA official Ray Watson and SNA President Ethan Gyles, Channel 12 newsman Ted Nesi moderated and started by asking the candidates – Democrats Daniel Chaika, Nirva LaFortune and Mark Santow plus Republican David Lallier Jr. – what each thought was the main issue facing the ward.
Chaika cited “the tax burden we all bear living in this city” and said everything else flows from that. LaFortune said it was “the division in our community” saying “that’s why I’m running – to bridge that division.” Lallier said it was “education itself, because students are falling behind” and that leads to crime in adult life. Santow said “the issue facing the city and the whole country is unequal access to opportunity” and vowed to shift priorities to “locally rooted solutions.”
Nesi opened the floor to the about 200 people present and questions dealt with government ethics, transfer of wealth, gentrification, city pension debts, and crime.
For a full video of the forum, go to:
For written responses by the candidates to issues raised at the previous forum go to:https://www.sna.providence.ri.us/daniel-chaika-d-un-debate-qa/
In their closing statements this time, Chaika urged “all my supporters to give money to Mount Hope services” and food for children; LaFortune said “we must engage in community” and tap into resources available “to make government work for you and me;” Santow said it was “an honor” to walk the community” and be a part “of bridging gaps and sharing stories. This is what democracy looks like;” and Lallier said he is “proud of what I am and stepping up” because “the city has lost its honor and I want to bring it back.”
The Democratic primary will be July 12 and the general election will be Aug. 16. Independent candidate Christopher Reynolds has not participated in either of the above events.