Political forum recap: Pocket area youth set the stage for a two-hour political forum at John F. Kennedy High School on Monday, April 28

By Monica Stark

Shown here, and on the cover of this issue of the Pocket News, are photos from the political forum for City Council candidates, District 7 and California, Assembly, District 9 held at John F. Kennedy High School on Monday, April 28. Photos by Stephen Crowley

Shown here, and on the cover of this issue of the Pocket News, are photos from the political forum for City Council candidates, District 7 and California, Assembly, District 9 held at John F. Kennedy High School on Monday, April 28. Photos by Stephen Crowley

Editor’s Note: The Pocket News thanks everyone who came out to the political forum on Monday, April 28 at John F. Kennedy High School. Special thanks to the candidates themselves, including – Julius Cherry, Rick Jennings, and Abe Snobar for City Council District 7; Jim Cooper, Darrell Fong, Tim Gorsulowsky, Manuel Martin, and Diana Rodriguez-Suruki – as well as to Matias Bombal, master of ceremonies, for his amazing stage presence; Sacramento State University Professor of Communications Jared Anderson for moderating; NextDoor Pocket moderator Kathi Windheim for promotions; NextDoor volunteer Jimi Hardy; the League of Women Voters for offering voter registration; Access Sacramento for moderating; Angela Wood for being the official timer; the John F. Kennedy High School band for its performance of the Star Spangled Banner, and Boy Scouts Troop no. 259 for the flag salute. Due to space constraints, this issue will focus on answers from the city council candidates and the next issue of the paper, we will focus on answers from the Assembly candidates.

From the John F. Kennedy High School band performance of “The Star Spangled Banner” to Boy Scout Troop, no. 259’s flag salute and questions to the candidates, Pocket area youth help set the stage for a two-hour political forum at the school on the evening of Monday, April 28.

Anderson and Bombal, a Pocket resident, kept the candidates for City Council, District 7, California, Assembly, District 9 and the audience engaged and on topic on the following issues:

PUBLIC ACCESS ON THE SACRAMENTO RIVER PARKWAY: Each of the City Council District 7 candidates expressed strong support for the Sacramento River Parkway.

Jennings said he met with neighbors who live next to the river. “Their concern is about public safety. I am a believer the river front should be available, but I also want to make sure homeowners we have a plan in place for safety. I am definitely in favor of the parkway. I think it reduces carbon footprint,” he said.

While noting Jennings’ opinion is not much different than his own, Cherry added that there have not been any additional crimes reported on the east end of Garcia Bend where more of the levee is open to the public.

Snobar said the completion the parkway would enhance the community’s culture.

STRONG MAYOR
Snobar and Cherry are against the strong mayor proposal, while Jennings is for it. Snobar said he is fundamentally against it because he feels the system in place currently works, plus he questioned the fine details of Mayor Johnson’s proposal. Cherry said he’s against it because “we voted on this issue a couple of years ago.” Jennings, however, said he thinks the proposal is “balanced and sound,” acknowledging support from Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg. Included in his statement, Jennings said, “As the city grows, the form of government ought to as well. Let’s look at what’s best. I am confident when the voters vote, they will tell us what they want. I can work in either form of government.”

OUR YOUTHS’ FUTURES
An 18 year old asked the candidates – “What are you going to do for us?” – and questioned the lack of jobs out there. Jennings and Snobar described resources that are currently available. Jennings referenced his position as Chief Executive Officer of the Center for Fathers and Families, a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening families. He offered his business card and said: “Somebody helped me when I was young. I can count names in the audience if you personally need help.”

Snobar added how there are resources out there, including the job corps and he said as an educator he knows college isn’t for everybody. He advocated for the funding of woodshop and autoshop classes.

Safety was of utter importance to Cherry who mentioned the series of killings a month ago. “I heard absolute nothing (from local politicians). I would be out on the street. We need to come together. It’s not just a problem for police. One thing we need to do is to keep you safe,” he said.

Access Sacramento’s filming of the event is currently in post-production, which takes between two to three weeks, after which time, it will be cablecast multiple times on Comcast SureWest Channel 17 and ATT&T Channel 99 and also on their website, accesssacramento.org

editor@valcomnews.com

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One comment

  1. Kathi Windheim
    #1

    Great job everyone, thank you Pocket News for partnering with Nextdoor Pocket on the Forum, and special thanks to SCC professor & moderator, Jared Anderson & emcee extraordinare Matias Bombal!

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