District 2 residents ask candidates big questions before election

"Hot Seat Candidate" forum Saturday night focused on big issues

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SAN ANTONIO – With election day exactly one week away, people who live in District 2 got a chance to ask candidates tough questions. The "Hot Seat Candidate" forum Saturday night focused on the big issues.

The event was hosted by TAAN TV, NAACP and the San Antonio Observer. Community leaders fired tough questions at the candidates, who answered in front of a crowd of residents. Then residents got to ask their own questions.

The biggest issue brought up by people who live in District 2 was growth and business development.

Candidate Keith Toney said it's about changing the perspective.

"We have to get rid of that false narrative that the East Side is so dangerous. That if you walk around the corner you'll get shot. That's a false narrative," Toney said.

Candidate Dori Brown spoke about surveying what space is available.

"Finding out what companies are really seeking to move here, do business in San Antonio and be able to put on the table quickly what we have to offer in District 2," Brown said.

"We've turned the corner on economic development to the extent where we have to be concerned about gentrification," current Councilman Alan Warrick said.

The other big question from community leaders and audience members was about public safety, violence and police-community relations.

Warrick has spent time as councilman dealing with these issues.

"Police and community relations have improved, but still have a long way to go. More dialogue is a good first step, but the challenge is law enforcement viewing folks on the East Side as citizens and not suspects," Warrick said.

"We have to look at why it's happening. We have to go back to the basics. The basic, generally, is the home life. What may be causing those issues and how we can help? So as we target the young people out there, (we) try to give them avenues to redirect their way of thinking," Brown said.

"We can't police our way out of this. We can't arrest our way out of this. We have to start working on things that are causing the crime. The crime is a symptom, most of the time, of other social ills, so let's put some resources into solving those social ills," Toney said.

The fourth candidate William "Cruz" Shaw was not able to make the forum. KSAT tried to get a hold of him for a comment for this story but was not able to reach him.

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