Local candidate forums continue ahead of November election

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The League of Women Voters Rochester continued its candidate forums on Monday night.

The first forum was for the Rochester City Council Ward 5 position where candidates Saida Omar and Shaun Palmer took turns answering and addressing concerns of the city.

One of the concerns brought up was homelessness in the Med City, both candidates were asked about what needs to be done to address the issue.

“It’s a nationwide problem and again Olmsted County has done a very good job of trying to get homelessness taken care of by adding new beds and a winter overnight facility that they now use all the time,” Palmer said.

“To see them dragging their bags and stuff like that it’s heartbreaking and we need to do something about for them, either it’s temporary or permanent home and after that at least find them a job or training places,” Omar said.

This forum closed with a question regarding funding for parks and recreation centers and both candidates are for more funding in those areas.

The second forum was for the Olmsted County Commissioner District 5 which featured candidates Catherine Davis and Michelle Rossman.

The discussion centered around topics about improving the county for its residents. One of the questions discussed how the Olmsted County Board recently accepted a report on racism in public health and the candidates were asked how they would implement equitable practices.

“They need to know that they are welcomed in all of those conversations and to be a part of these decisions that are being made that affect this county,” Rossman said.

“We need to be including the people with a lived and learned experience in, in the cocreation of how we are going to implement the recommendations,” Davis said.

There will be more candidate forums taking place this week, the next one being Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.