Of seven City Commission candidates, only one was endorsed by the African American Accountability Alliance.
After a two-hourlong Q&A session Monday night, the majority of the alliance decided and voted that city commission incumbent Helen Warren best represents the group’s values, and therefore will receive its endorsement.
At the forum, which was held at the Alachua County Health Department, located at 224 SE 24 St., about 50 community members listened to candidates answer questions about homelessness, diversity and economic growth in Gainesville. Monday was the third of seven candidate forums leading to the city’s regular election March 14.
The candidates include Jenn Powell and Helen Warren for at-large positions, Sheryl Eddie, Perry Clawson and Harvey Ward for District 2, and David Isaiah Arreola and Craig Carter for District 3.
“Your actions will certainly dictate whether you receive support tonight and in the future,” said Larry McDaniel, the moderator, as he addressed the panel.
Warren, a UF alumna, currently serves as Gainesville’s city commissioner at-large. At the forum, she said her experience with local government makes her the most suitable person for the job.
“It’s a great vote of confidence from this community,” Warren of the endorsement. “They believe I’m going to walk the walk and not just talk about it.”
Warren said if re-elected, she will use educational services and volunteer efforts to address academic achievement in impoverished pockets of the city. Warren concluded by saying local politicians can’t fix everything — it’s the entire community’s job to incite change.
“People come to us expecting us to solve many, many different problems,” she said. “City government cannot solve every problem.”
Correction: This story has been updated to correct an omission in the listing of commission candidates. Perry Clawson is running for District 2.
About 50 community members listened to six City Commission candidates at a forum on Monday night.