(COLORADO SPRINGS) — With the November midterm election only four weeks away, potential future law makers are discussing topics impacting the Colorado Springs Community.
Candidates from Colorado’s House District 17 and State Senate District 11, met at the new Pikes Peak United Way Family Success Center in a free event open to the public.
Tuesday’s meeting was not a debate, but a chance to spark a conversation with voters.
Addressing Colorado Springs’ current quality of life and where to improve, a Libertarian Senate candidate said many of the issues impacting the community can be solved by those living there.
“I’m asking you for a radical change,” said Daryl Kuiper, Senate District 11 candidate. “We need to have people start to group together and try to help each other, that is what society is about, is involving people, not necessarily always government.”
Candidates mentioned the alarming increase in mental health conditions in the community while supporting passed legislation.
“I have co-sponsored bills that increase school counselors, and mental health professionals available in public schools, we expanded the Safe-2-Tell program making it easier for the student to get help,” said Tony Exum, the Democratic candidate for Senate District 11.
Other hot topics discussed included the increase in crime in Colorado Springs.
“Crime is just plain too high,” said Republican Rachel Stovall, candidate for House District 17. “Most cities that are the size of Colorado Springs have a certain amount of police per thousand citizens, and we don’t.”
Local police continue to face shortages, while Democrat House candidate Regina English focuses on the relationship between police and the community.
“I feel that my community over here in House District 17 doesn’t trust law enforcement, there needs to be accountability and transparency, it shouldn’t be we’re afraid to call the police,” English said.
Senate candidates believe it starts with training.
“I did co-sponsor a bill earlier this year in the last session for additional training for our law enforcement, this additional training is to help them respond to various situations,” said Dennis Hisey, Republican candidate for Senate District 11.
Other Senate candidates also focused on enhancing the integrity of officers.
“To make sure that when officers act outside of protect and serve, that they’re held accountable,” Exum says.
According to Ballotpedia, Colorado Springs is currently made up of 31.9% Democrat, 22.8% Republican, and 42.6% Unaffiliated.
Ballots are expected to be mailed out to active registered voters Monday, Oct. 17.