MILWAUKEE — Voters got a chance to hear from the Milwaukee mayoral candidates in a virtual forum Monday night.
Seven candidates are running for Milwaukee's mayor: former Alderman Bob Donovan, community activist Ieshuh Griffin, entrepreneur Michael Sampson, state Sen. Lena Taylor, Sheriff Earnell Lucas, Alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevic, and Acting Mayor Cavalier Johnson.
Organizers said more than 500 people tuned in to the forum.
Each of the candidates on the Zoom call answered questions on a variety of issues, such as ensuring voting rights, fixing the lead problem, and making Milwaukee more inclusive.
Candidates addressed concerns about the city's financial health.
"I've pledged during this campaign to...in the Capitol fighting for Milwaukee every every single day, including getting resources back here," Johnson said.
"I just made one-fourth of our budget back by just cutting simple things that we don't need and should be in a lot better spot as a budget," Sampson said.
Candidates also talked about how to improve affordable and accessible housing.
"I'd like to put every, all of our assets on the table to move us forward in housing by having people do it with work, do it with entrepreneurship," Taylor said.
"The best way to help, I believe, additionally, prevent additional homelessness is to prevent it from happening," Dimitrijevic said. "Let's end foreclosures, let's try to prevent evictions."
"It's about trying to get the homes, dollar homes, into the hands of the people in the community," Griffin said in a phone call after the forum. "Donating some of the excess property the city has let sit, has boarded up."
They also shared how they would improve police and community relations.
"I would stand proudly in support of the brave men and women of the Milwaukee Police Department and the challenging job that they have to perform," Donovan said.
"We must always strive to do our very best in law enforcement, to treat people with dignity and respect," Lucas said. "I feel it important that as the mayor to set the example."
You can watch the full forum below:
With former Mayor Tom Barrett starting a new role as the U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg, there will be a special election to fill his position. On Feb. 15 a primary will be held, with the top two candidates advancing to the general election on April 5 to determine the next mayor of Milwaukee. The winner will finish the remaining two years of Barrett's term, which will end on April 16, 2024.