Candidate forum to address issues related to poverty
A Thursday candidate forum about poverty in Duluth will give the spotlight to low-income residents before hearing from those running for St. Louis County Board and the Minnesota Legislature. The 2016 Local Solutions to Poverty Candidate Forum is ...
A Thursday candidate forum about poverty in Duluth will give the spotlight to low-income residents before hearing from those running for St. Louis County Board and the Minnesota Legislature.
The 2016 Local Solutions to Poverty Candidate Forum is at 6 p.m. Thursday at Holy Family Catholic Church, 2430 W. Third St.
While the city has experienced business growth and housing development in recent years, not everyone benefits equally, said organizer Joel Kilgour, noting that disparities in education, housing and wages are among Duluth's most critical issues.
"A lot of people in Duluth are having trouble making ends meet," he said. "Upwards of 20 percent of the population is living below the federal poverty line, and two-thirds are paying more than they can afford in rent."
But the struggle for economic stability is not on the top of the agenda for most governmental bodies, Kilgour said, so the idea is to get the voices of those who are struggling heard by those running to represent them.
"We want them to listen and hopefully these stories will follow them into the statehouse and County Board, and affect decision-making," he said.
Duluthians will speak before candidates to share their positions on policy measures designed to promote fairness and economic stability in the community. Topics were drawn from listening sessions held in the Central Hillside, Endion, Lincoln Park and Morgan Park neighborhoods, and will include transportation, affordable housing, health care and dental care access, public accountability for state and county programs and living wages.
The following candidates have confirmed participation in the forum: Beth Olson for St. Louis County Board District 3; Patrick Boyle and Linda Ross Sellner for St. Louis County Board District 2; Dylan Raddant and Jennifer Schultz for Minnesota House District 7A; Cody Barringer and Liz Olson for Minnesota House District 7B; and Donna Bergstrom and Erik Simonson for Minnesota Senate District 7. Jay Fosle, a candidate for District 3 of the St. Louis County Board, had not responded to invitations, forum organizers said.
The forum is organized by CHUM and the Loaves and Fishes Community, and sponsored by several groups, including Community Action Duluth, Citizens Federation, Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless, Minnesota Public Interest Research Group, Duluth NAACP, Program for Aid to Victims of Sexual Assault, American Indian Community Housing Organization, Vision Duluth, Voices for Racial Justice, One Roof Community Housing, Life House, SOAR Career Solutions, Big View and the Cross-Cultural Alliance of Duluth.