CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Five of the candidates currently running for Charlottesville City Council are stating their case.

The Local Alliance for Urban and Rural Advancement (LAURA PAC) hosted a forum at The Haven on Saturday, allowing the community a chance to know the candidates early on. 

On its website, LAURA PAC stated the forum was formed to:

"To advance Progressive candidates at the local & state level in urban & rural areas.

To create a competitive environment at the local level, turning red areas purple, and purple areas blue.

To invest, educate, and follow-up with candidates & campaigns.

To approach elections from the bottom of the ballot up, using data."

During the forum, Sena Magill, Llyod Snook, Michael Payne, Brian Pinkston, and Bob Fenwick all expressed why they should be elected.

"We're lucky in Charlottesville, we've got some very smart, intelligent candidates and it makes me really happy to see this amount of civic engagement in general,” said Sena Magill.

On Saturday, candidates answered eight questions on different subjects. The topics ranged from housing to racial justice, with only a minute allotted to address each question.

Brian Pinkston said, "It forced me as a candidate to really think through some issues that it's easy to sort of grandstand and say we're going to do this and that."

The top issues on candidates’ lists were education and affordable housing.

"Definitely education, as a mother,” stated Magill. “Having worked with as I said, Region 10, I found affordable housing both for the consumers who we worked with but also for my staff.”

"There's the headline issues about schools, I absolutely think we need to invest in our middle school and Buford as well," said Pinkston.

Co-director of LAURA PAC, Jonathan Stevens, said the forum was not just a way for the community to know the candidates but a way they could get involved.

"We want people to be engaged early on, to get excited about the candidates they like and actually help them, knock on doors, make phone calls, do something."

The Democratic primary is on June 11, voting will take place on three of the seats.