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Organizers hold accountability session for candidates

By Jerry Najera, Multimedia Journalist
Published On: Apr 29 2013 04:26:59 AM CDT
Updated On: Jan 15 2014 07:16:57 PM CST

EPISO together with Border interfaith allowed candidates to answer questions posed by the community.

EL PASO, Texas -

Candidates running for a number of local offices were asked the tough questions Sunday. The candidates getting questioned included the men running for mayor, prospective school board members and city council. Around 600 El Pasoans showed up to hear the candidates speak. They were asked questions as well as asked to make commitments.

"The goal is to have the candidates not campaign but directly respond to these issues that have come from our neighborhoods and our families," said event organizer Rev. Ed Roden-Lucero. Those families came out by the hundreds, organizers said 600 people showed up to what they call an accountability session.

The mayoral candidates were posed a few questions.

The first question was, will you commit to investing $300,000 to project ARRIBA, wich is a El Paso based organization committed to provide long term high skilled training and occupational skills. Mayoral candidates Robert Cormell, Hector Lopez and Dino Martinez answered 'yes.' While Jorge Artalejo, Oscar Leeser and Steve Ortega answered 'no', citing they would need to see a budget before making that commitment. Mayoral candidates Gus Haddad and Jaime O. Perez were not in attendance.

The second question asked the candidate if they commit to implementing the infrastructure projects as they were passed with the seven- year timeline. All of the candidates answered 'yes.'

The third question asked them if they would implement quality of life bonds as they are currently scheduled? All candidates answered 'yes.'

Once all the the answers are tallied up, they'll be presented to constituents.

"These are the issues that we presented and this is how they answered and they give them a copy of the report card and the person can make their own determination based on that information," said Rev. Roden.

Organizers say these sessions help increase voter turn out and at the same time candidates get to voice their opinion before early voting which begins Monday.

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