DAVENPORT, Iowa — Davenport’s six mayoral candidates faced off tonight for the first time in a debate about women’s issues.
Your Local Election Headquarters covered the debate held at the Davenport library. Tonight’s questions focused on pay equity, affordable housing and gun violence.
The mayoral candidates are:
- Dan Portes
- Dean Weber
- Elizabeth van camp
- Mike Matson
- Rita Rawson
- Steve Duffy
For third ward resident Gary Susich some of the debate topics were personal, like homelessness.
“For three years, I lived in the streets,” Susich said.
“Affordable housing in Davenport, in the Quad Cities should be put as a priority,” said alderman Mike Matson. “We have some, but we need more.”
Candidate Steve Duffy said projects like the Hilltop Village apartments need to replicated.
“We need to expand that over to Washington Street and beyond,” Duffy said.
Candidate Elizabeth Van Camp said the city should take a Housing First approach, which connects homeless people to housing without having any requirements for the people to meet.
“If we adopt the Housing First approach, that will be beneficial for the entire community, especially our rising homeless population,” Van Camp said.
Susich wants to hear more.
“Keep going on what they’re doing now, [like with] poverty, affordable housing,” he said.
Marsha Davenport said she didn’t hear enough about one of the most important issues to her: public safety.
“I would actually like to work on getting a little bit more strict for permits for conceal and carry,” said alderwoman Rita Rawson.
Candidate Dean Weber said a lot of the violence is a result of someone’s home life, so that’s where the focus should be.
“Around here and the quad cities it seems to be more juveniles,” Weber said. “The kids have virtually nothing to do.”
Candidate Dan Portes said gun violence is an issue that connects back to many other problems in Davenport.
“It’s not going to change over night, but we have to be committed to wanting to change it as a community,” he said.
Davenport said many candidates echoed the same idea that gun violence can only be stopped as a community, but no one said what individuals can do to help.
“Nobody offered a I’m a Joe Blow citizen. How do I get involved? Show me how to get involved,” she said. “We’re the lambs following the leaders.”
The Hilltop Campus Village is hosting the next debate at St. Ambrose University on Thursday, September 26, at 6:30 p.m. at the Rogalski Center.