Voters in Providence’s Ward Three had a public conversation Thursday night about the issues confronting their neighborhood and a panel of City Council hopefuls sat and listened.
About 150 East Side residents gathering at Martin Luther King Elementary School to pose questions to four of the people running to replace recalled Councilman Kevin Jackson. It was the first session of a two-part event cosponsored by the Summit, Mount Hope and Observatory Neighborhood Associations.
In this initial “undebate” stage, neighbors brought their concerns, their questions and their aspirations out into the open and the candidates were instructed to listen only. In the second stage, they will get their chance to state how they intend to address the issues. That will be at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 27, also at King School. In between, the questions raised at the first meeting will be collated, given to the candidates and made public on electronic media. As at the first stage, there will be light refreshments as well as child care.
“You’re in charge, you the voters. You’re affecting the next debate,” said Mike Ritz, who with Angie Ankoma, both of Leadership RI, co-moderated the event.