FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
  
SAN DIEGO – October 14, 2015 – Tonight, more than 300 local San Diego residents attended a non-partisan Candidate Forum for San Diego City Council District 9 candidates. 
 
The event, which took place at Ly’s Garden Chinese from 5:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. included an hour-long informal meet and greet for residents and candidates to get to know one another before the official forum began. Although invitations were extended to each of the eight candidates who have formalized their intent to run by filing official papers, only six chose to participate in the community forum, including: Ricardo Flores, Sandra Galindo, Georgette Gomez, Araceli Martinez, Rebecca Paida and Sarah Saez. 
 
Forum questions were submitted by local residents and organizations serving the District 9 community to event organizers Engage San Diego partners and the Engage Action Fund.  Moderator Dejuan Hoggard, anchor for One America News Network posed questions at random and allowed candidates one minute to answer.  
 
Among the most challenging questions were those about racial profiling, income inequality, corporate campaign contributions, collective bargaining rights and even Civic San Diego’s role in “responsible development.”
 
This unprecedented collaboration of so many organizations coming together to give the community a chance to hear from their candidates is exactly the kind of thing that Engage San Diego was created to do,” said Rhiannon McAfee, executive director of Engage San Diego. “The questions were tough because District 9 is home to some of our city’s most complex problems – from income inequality to environmental challenges to racial justice. This was a critical opportunity for residents to play an active role in determining the future of their neighborhoods by choosing their own champion.” 
 
“We thank all the candidates and residents who attended tonight’s forum. These events, which engage and educate San Diego’s communities, strengthen our democracy at a time when we see voting rights under attack across the country,” added Chris Wilson, Engage San Diego board member and assistant director of Alliance San Diego, “We need all of San Diego’s communities to be a part of the democratic process so that we can help build up San Diego, and so that we can all reach our full potential.”
 
Engage San Diego is a network that builds power to win social and economic justice through integrated voter engagement and organizing. Engage San Diego envisions a San Diego County where the electorate and leadership are reflective of the people who live and work there.  Engage San Diego’s partners and event co-sponsors are: Alliance of Californians for Community EmpowermentAlliance San Diego, the Center on Policy Initiatives, Environmental Health Coalition, Justice Overcoming Boundaries, Mid-City Community Advocacy Network, Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans, Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, San Diego LGBT Community Center, Service Employees International Union Local 221, United Taxi Workers – A Project of Labors Alliance and the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, AFL-CIO.
Follow the evening’s social media conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #D9votes 
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MEDIA INQUIRIES  |  Samantha Peterson, (619) 309-8169 or speterson@unionyes.org
© 2014 San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council
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