Clarkston meets its Candidates at the Clarkston Municipal Elections Candidate Forum • October 17th 2017

Clarkston meets its Candidates at the Clarkston Municipal Elections Candidate Forum · October 17th 2017

On Tuesday night the Clarkston Community Center filled with over a hundred community members eager to get to know the candidates for Clarkston's Municipal elections. 

Clarkston meets its Candidates at the Clarkston Municipal Elections Candidate Forum • October 17th 2017

Clarkston meets its Candidates at the Clarkston Municipal Elections Candidate Forum · October 17th 2017

On Tuesday night the Clarkston Community Center filled with over a hundred community members eager to get to know the candidates for Clarkston's Municipal elections. The event was sponsored by Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Center for Pan Asian Community Services, Coalition of Refugee Service Agencies, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, New American Pathways, The People’s Agenda, Segal Radio Service, and Women Watch Arika, Inc.  

Following a dinner provided by Kathmandu Kitchen, the community sat down to hear about each candidates’ platforms and initiatives. 

WABE’s Elle Yu moderated the evening’s discussion which was divided into three question and answer sessions: first with the mayoral candidates, next with the city council candidates, and concluding with the special election candidates. Audience members were also able to submit questions and concerns to be addressed by the candidates.

The night began with discussions with incumbent Ted Terry and Council Member Beverly Burks. Throughout the opening statement, questions and answers section, and closing statement, Burks emphasized her platform of investment, engagement and empowerment, while Terry promised to keep building on the momentum of the past three and a half years in office.

City Council Member candidates Yterenickia “YT” Bell, Chris Busing, Jamie Carroll (incumbent), Ahmed Hassan (incumbent), Dean Moore (incumbent) and Grant Hassan Salaam participated in a panel that followed a similar pattern.  Scheduling conflicts prevented two additional candidates, Laura Hopkins and Jennifer Schliestett, from attending the event.

The night concluded with a lively discussion from Andrea Cervone and Warren Hadlock, candidates for the Special Election. To run for mayor, Council Member Burks had to leave her position as a Clarkston Council Member; Cervone and Hadlock are now vying for that spot. The special election will take place on the same day as the mayoral and community council election, but will use a separate ballot.  

Overall, the evening passed with much agreement and little conflict. Highlighted topics included the need for affordable housing and rent for small businesses, especially as the city continues to develop, infrastructure development that builds on streetscape initiatives, improved programming for youth and senior citizens, and increased public safety measures.  

The few tensional moments occurred following audience questions that highlighted the discord between the Mayor’s office and the City Council and asked candidates how they planned to work together going forward. Incumbent City Council Member Moore called out difficult working relationships with Mayor Terry, clearly supporting Burks as the next Mayor. Likewise, special election candidate Hadlock highlights his opponent Cervone’s connection with the current mayor and calls for change in mayoral leadership.    

Overall, Clarkston community members left the night more familiar with their mayoral and city council candidates. Elections will take place on November 7, 2017. 

Section  English
Category   Community
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