Charlottesville City Council candidates gather for forum

Charlottesville City Council Candidate Forum
Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 5:56 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Charlottesville City Council has two of five seats up for election this November and on Wednesday, September 8 candidates gathered to discuss important issues for the city including Police Chief RaShall Brackney’s firing and vacant business on the Downtown Mall.

While each candidate did not really get into their own opinion on Brackney’s firing, they each said new leadership in the department is necessary.

“Over the past three to four years Charlottesville has seen four police chiefs. I believe we would like to have one that is going to be in it for the long run and one that can uphold ethical policing, make sure that they are attending trainings,” candidate Yas Washington said.

“I would not want to venture to speculate to what took place, I do know that if elected I will work with the City Council and the public to hire a police chief so that we can move the city forward,” candidate Juandiego Wade said.

“I am optimistic that we are going to find someone that will be a better fit for our community. The change in management is really hard and its hard to move an organization from one state to another state, particularly when in something like policing. There are a lot of cultural changes that need to happen,” candidate Brian Pinkston said.

Another issue candidates addressed was vacancies on the Downtown Mall and how to support businesses.

“We need to support them because they not only are bringing tax revenue but they employ our residents, they employ us and so we are all in this together,” Wade said.

“If we want to do the things around equity that we keep talking about then we have to have that private sector and do all we can to support programs,” Pinkston said.

Washington said that while filling vacancies downtown is important, filling the area where K-Mart was is important too.

“Use that area, map it out, and put something there that is going to stimulate economic activity but also gives individuals the opportunity, there are a lot of business that are continuing to grow in Charlottesville and I think it would be great to get those areas rented out,” Washington said.

Candidates also discussed school funding, city - county cooperation, climate action, and land-use maps.

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