Mayor answers questions on issues facing African American community

Mayor answers questions on issues facing African American community

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Domestic violence, sex trafficking and the economy; these are the problems citizens asked Toledo's Mayor about Monday night at a community Mayoral forum at the Frederick Douglass Community center.

The room was packed for the second Community Mayoral Forum bringing Black Lives Matter organizers and the Young Black Voters together to highlight issues facing Toledo neighborhoods right now.

Organizers said at some other forums, the average person may not feel comfortable coming up and asking the candidates questions and they wanted this to feel different.

"They can come and ask their questions, and have them answered in a relaxed setting," said Ruth Leonard, a teacher and event organizer with the Community Solidarity Response Network of Toledo.

At the forum, a panel asked questions on the problem of sex trafficking, domestic violence and economic injustice among black citizens.

"The thing that I'm most concerned about is the rate of homelessness for TPS students, and working to bring that number down," said Leonard.

Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson answered a question on improving Toledo's economy, with what she said she's done to bring more companies to Toledo. But she said they can't find enough workers here.

"They cannot find people to work," the mayor said strongly at the event. "And it is not necessarily because they do not have the skills. It is either because they don't have a driver's license, they can't show up on time or they're not drug free. "

The audience wrote questions down for the mayor.

One shouted out "I disagree," when Mayor Hicks-Hudson answered one question with a call to the community to get involved solving social and family issues, not just city government.

The Mayor told the audience, "If we're here having a conversation, let's have a real conversation about what we all must do."

Mayoral candidate Wade Kapszukiewicz attended the last forum hosted by these groups, but said he received the invitation late to this one and was booked at another event so he could not attend.

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