On June 3rd, 2021, the League of Women Voters hosted an online forum for the three candidates for Albany Common Council for Ward 6. The four FOCUS churches located in Ward 6 co-hosted this event (Emmanuel Baptist Church, First Presbyterian Church, Trinity United Methodist Church and Westminster Presbyterian Church) along with Capital District Latinos and CANA (Council of Albany Neighborhood Associations). Nell Stokes moderated the forum. The three candidates for Ward 6 Common Councilmember are Jeff Mayo, Susan Pedo and Gabriella Romero.
The idea of co-sponsoring a candidates forum came out of one of the racial justice conversations that we convened on Zoom back in April. Several participants in those conversations felt called to challenge the Albany Police Department’s use of tear gas as well as to promote a variety of reforms to policing in our city. We thought a candidate forum for the Common Councilmember from our Ward would be a way for us to bring this conversation to our own neighborhood. We reached out to the League of Women Voters who has long convened candidate forums, and the League in turn invited several other groups to co-sponsor the event. It was a great experience in partnership and community building.
The candidates did indeed discuss both the proposed tear gas ban as well as approaches to police reform throughout their comments and in response to a specific question around 1:11. They were also asked a question specifically about the FOCUS churches–you can hear their responses beginning at minute 1:33. We encourage you to check out their responses–even if you don’t live in Albany Ward 6, one of these candidates will represent the neighborhood in which our church is located.