By Rory O’Sullivan
The Moreno Valley Black Chamber of Commerce held their fourth annual Meet and Greet Candidate Forum Fri, Oct. 5th.
There were eight candidates from across party lines in attendance at the Canyon Crest Country Club. The candidates for the new 41st Congressional District, which includes the cities of Riverside, Jurupa Valley, Moreno Valley and Perris were there.
“I’m running for congress to address Riverside Counties current job situation,” said Democratic candidate and teacher Mark Takano. “A highly educated workforce, a highly skilled workforce, a highly trained workforce, will attract great employers.”
His Republican challenger Riverside County Supervisor John Tavaglione said he is going to Congress. “I’m going to take change to Washington DC and work across party lines,” said Tavaglione. “That’s the only reason I’m going is to try and bring our country back together.”
California 31st State District Senate candidate Democrat Richard Roth and California 61st Assembly District candidate Democrat Jose Medina were also there. Both said jobs and ensuring funding for Univ. of Calif. Riverside’s medical school is fully funded.
“I’m very excited,” said Medina. “I think my chances of winning are very good.”
Three of the eight Moreno Valley City Council candidates were in attendance as well. LaDonna Jempson, Victoria Baca, who are running for district five and Carlos Thomas Ketcham who is running in district three.
“Edgemont is one of the worse areas in Moreno Valley,” said Baca. “I will make sure Edgemont has a voice on the city council.”
“We care about our city, this is not a political step, this is not something we’re trying to get rich off of, we care about this city,” said Ketcham who has formed an alliance with Jempson.
If elected they will take a 50% pay cut from what is offered to existing city council members.
Dr. Denise Fleming was the only candidate running for Moreno Valley School Board in attendance. She said the current board has failed students with Moreno Valley School District’s rank of 623 out of 700 schools in California and it’s 70% high school graduation rate.
“I have dedicated 25 years of my life to the education of our students,” said Fleming. “That presents a great opportunity to go up, if we have the right leadership in place.”
The event was sparsely attended, but those attendance were very engaged and received the answers they were looking for.
“This was wonderful,” said Moreno Valley voter, Vonzetta Fielding ,who was undecided but made her decision on that night. “We got a chance to talk to the candidates,”
She said she would be voting for Dr. Denise Fleming and Richard Roth in November.
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