Democratic mayoral candidates to debate on campus April 18
A view of the inside of ENR2 shows its unique construction and modern style. There will be several events being held in the building this semester including a Campus Conversation on Sustainability on Jan. 17 and the "Feeding your Genome" Conference Feb. 22-24.
The Pima County Young Democrats and University of Arizona Young Democrats will host a forum for Tucson’s Democratic mayoral candidates in the ENR2 Building Room N120 on Thursday, April 18, from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
With the retirement of Tucson’s current mayor, two-term Democrat Jonathan Rothschild, this year’s race is filled with candidates. Four local Democrats will face off in a primary election scheduled for Aug. 27. Two Republican candidates and a number of independents have also entered the race.
“The goal of UAYD and PCYD in hosting this event on campus is to help empower young people from all walks of life to have a say in the democratic process and to ensure that their voices will be heard,” said Adrian Sacripanti, director of media for the UA Young Democrats and a systems engineering student at UA, in an email.
Democratic candidates Randi Dorman, a downtown developer without previous political experience; Steve Farley, a veteran of the Arizona Legislature, and Regina Romero, a current councilwomen, all plan to attend the forum and answer questions submitted by students and community members through the event’s Facebook page.
The fourth Democratic candidate in this year’s primary election is Denny Crafton, who will not attend the forum.
Thomas Volgy, a UA professor in the School of Government and Public Policy and a former Tucson mayor, said he believes this year’s mayoral election will be focused around four key issues: income inequality and low wages, the quality of public education, the quality of community life (e.g. air quality and transportation) and the running of clean or publicly funded election campaigns.
“Tucsonans are far more knowledgeable about the problems in our community than politicians often give them credit for,” Volgy said in an email. “They want to see concrete, pragmatic proposals for the problems they face rather than symbols.”
According to Sacripanti, candidates will face questions around these issues as well as the state of the environment, education, gentrification and the concerns of immigrant communities in Tucson.
“The City of Tucson, like many other college towns, is going through a period of growth and development, especially around the university area,” Sacripanti said. “As a result, the issue of increased student housing and the effect it has on historic neighborhoods — especially downtown — has been placed into the spotlight.”
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