Charlottesville City Council Candidates Weigh In on Race, Other Issues at Forum

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candidates at City Hall for forum candidates at City Hall for forum

A trio of white supremacy events this summer headlined a candidate forum in Charlottesville.

Six candidates vying to become a Charlottesville City Councilor squared off at an event sponsored by Virginia Organizing.

"This is a problem. It exists. It's bigger than any one of us and not one person can fix it,” Amy Laufer, a Democrat, said.

Most of the independent and Democratic candidates addressed the white supremacy events of this summer, and the deadly violence that unfolded last month.

The group was also asked about defeating structural racism.

"The struggle we're going through is structural racism. I believe we need federal leadership. We're not going to get that with President Trump," independent Paul Long said.

"Racism is a white creation. And so what it requires to dismantle it is that white people start thinking differently about how they move through the world,” Nikuyah Walker said.

Each candidate had their own take on race relations on the local front and what's happening across the country.

"It really bothers me when we just want to point fingers at white people. We all have some racism in us.  Sit here and tell me you haven't called a white person a cracker,” independent Kenneth Jackson said.

Several candidates offered up their thoughts on what the government could do to help deal with racism.

 “My goals and plans: listen and enact change to promote racial harmony in Charlottesville," John Hall, an independent, said.

"I really think there's a lot of benefit from us to work together to invest ourselves and even some resources in more community building,” Heather Hill, a Democrat, said.

The candidates also spoke about a living wage, affordable housing and police accountability. 

Election Day for the two open seats on City Council is Nov. 7.

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