Candidates for Youngstown mayor go head-to-head - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Candidates for Youngstown mayor go head-to-head

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One of the biggest local races this November took front and center stage Tuesday evening. 

For the first time, this political season candidates lobbying for the job of Youngstown mayor went head-to-head. 

The forum was hosted by The Salon, a progressive women's organization based in the Mahoning Valley, and was held at the First Presbyterian Church on Wick Avenue.

The forum was standing room only. Three of Youngstown's four mayoral candidates sat before a room full of voters. Absent from the table was Independent candidate Cecil Monroe.

The others, limited by time, answered what they felt were the biggest problems facing the city and how they planned to fix them.

For Democratic nominee, Jamael Tito Brown, the answer was poverty. A part of his answer included a lack of grocery stores within the city and fresh produce.

"We're going to look to put together a central grocery warehouse where we are going to look at our local growers of vegetables and fruits that are here already," said Brown.

 For Independent candidates Sean McKinney and Janet Tarpley, the answer was education.

McKinney said he is already holding round table discussions with education leaders and stake holders.

"Education is critical. If we never raise the level of education up inside the city of Youngstown we will still have crime and we will never have business development inside the city of Youngstown," said McKinney.

For Tarpley, the focus was on teaching trades.  "One of the things the city of Youngstown says is, 'Hey, when you get a contract with the city you have to have a certain percentage of minority contractors.' One thing they said is we can't find them. Well, if you're taking care of that now while they're in school by the time they become 18 you can meet your requirement that is necessary. So it all goes hand in hand," said Tarpley.

Another mayoral forum is scheduled for September 19th at Stambaugh Auditorium. The forum is an opportunity for business leaders to speak with the candidates. The forum begins at 7:30 am and will be hosted by the Regional Chamber.

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