YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A candidate’s forum was held in Youngstown Monday evening.

It was held at New Bethel Baptist Church by the Community Mobilization Coalition of Greater Youngstown.

Candidates for Youngstown City Council were able to present their platforms and answer questions. Below is a breakdown of the candidates running in each ward and a summary of their presentations at Monday’s forum:

First Ward

Julius Oliver (D)

Current First Ward Councilman Julius Oliver could not attend Monday’s forum because he is in Washington D.C. for the Congressional City Conference. In lieu of his attendance, Oliver sent in a statement.

The statement expressed Oliver’s passion for the city of Youngstown and listed some of his accomplishments from community grants, youth programs, demolitions, beautification projects, financial assistance for residents and forming relationships in local government and organizations.

Oliver also pointed out his dedication to the city as shown in his business and his newly built home, both located in the First Ward.

Tracey Randall (R)

Tracy Randall is a Republican and a First Ward resident running against Oliver.

Randall is a member of the Youngstown Neighborhood Leaders, the Young Women’s Republican Party and Patriots Stand United.

Randall said if voted in, she would like to see Wean Park become more inclusive and welcoming to the younger generation.

When asked about small businesses in Youngstown and how she would like to see them grow, she said she isn’t quite sure how to bring small businesses back that have left but believes it will take a united effort.

Randall said she would like to create a stronger connection with the elderly population in the First Ward — those who may not have much family support.

Second Ward

Jimmy Hughes (D)

Second Ward Councilman Jimmy Hughes has a background in law enforcement and resides on the East Side, in the city’s Second Ward.

At Monday’s forum, Hughes explained the importance of working with other departments in the city.

Hughes was asked about the site of the McGuffey Plaza, that now sits empty and blighted. Hughes explained that the Port Authority now owns the site, but that he believes the city may acquire it at some point.

Ra’Cole Taltoan (D)

Ra’Cole Taltoan, running against Hughes, says she would like to see a setup for small businesses or vendors in the space of the former McGuffey Plaza. She bought the last standing building on that property but had to eventually sell it.

Taltoan is an East Side resident. She is the former vice president of the Northeast Homeowners Association and a business owner.

She says she would like to see updates in parks in the Second Ward and would be willing to work with other council members in order to get things done.

Third Ward

Third Ward Councilwoman Samantha Turner was not in attendance at the forum because she is in Washington D.C. attending the Congressional City Conference.

Fourth Ward

Fourth Ward Councilman Mike Ray is running unopposed.

Ray has held the position since 2010.

Ray spoke about the importance of small businesses in the city and how he plans to continue to connect with small businesses in his ward. He also explained where he is spending some of his ARPA funds.

Fifth Ward

Pat Kelly (D)

Current Fifth Ward Councilman Pat Kelly was scheduled to attend Monday’s forum, but because of a family emergency was unable to attend.

Carrie Watson (D)

Carrie Watson is a long-time educator and current teacher at Youngstown Community School.

Watson explained why she feels communication, transparency and working together are important to bring the Fifth Ward forward. Watson says meetings within the Fifth Ward are one thing she feels will help with that.

When asked about critical race theory and new legislation to change the curriculum in schools, Watson said she feels it is very important to not erase history and to learn from the past.

She says changing the way residents think and talk about the city is one step toward making it a better city.

Sixth Ward

Anita Davis (D)

Anita Davis is the current Sixth Ward councilwoman, holding the position since 2015.

Davis said she has worked to make sure her ward is receiving the same treatment as other wards in the city by the administration.

She said there may be times she gives out tough answers to residents, but she wants to be transparent and truthful even when it’s a tough subject.

When asked about how she plans to work with the Academy for Urban Scholars, a school located in her ward, Davis explained that apart from education committee meetings, she can only do so much as a councilwoman. She went on to say there is a separation between the city council and the school district and that each should stay in its lane.

Davis received some pushback for this viewpoint and was asked what she would do if she sees or hears something wrong going on in the school. Davis said she can voice her opinion and make calls, but beyond that, it is out of her control.

Janet Tarpley (D)

Davis’ opponent Janet Tarpley says she would like to support the students and help them achieve things such as signage for the school.

Tarpley has had several failed political runs in the past but has also served as Sixth Ward councilwoman from 2008-2015.

Tarpley was asked how she plans to combat drugs and violence in the neighborhood. She explained her role in helping to create the Community Initiative to Reduce Violence in the past and how there are a few people and families in the city responsible for the violence and how that needs to be addressed.

Seventh Ward

Basia Adamczak (D)

Basia Adamczak is the current Seventh Ward Councilwoman. Monday she explained how the Seventh Ward has some stable neighborhoods and some at-risk neighborhoods. Her mission has been to bring equity as well as equality to her ward.

Adamczak went on to explain the efforts she has taken for school safety. She is the chairwoman of the education committee and is regularly in communication with city school officials. She went on to talk about how the curriculum has a direct impact on the students’ mindsets and how they think which then can affect their esteem, socioeconomic challenges and safety.

Adamczak spoke on small business funding within the city and her ward that she has helped acquire and how some of the funding is specific to minorities and people of color.

She went on to explain her willingness to work with other council members to get things done.

Josie Lyons (R)

Josie Lyons is running against Adamczak.

Lyons has lived in the Seventh Ward of Youngstown for 25 years. She is the president of the Seventh Ward Citizens Coalition and a board member of Youngstown neighborhood leaders.

When asked about how she plans to ensure safety in the Seventh Ward, Lyons says she would like the residents in her ward to work together. She plans to continue having meetings with the Seventh Ward Citizens Coalition.

When asked about school safety, Lyons said she is willing to learn about school safety and work to help benefit students and residents.

Unopposed candidates Judge Carla Baldwin and Richard Vincent Hill who is running for clerk of courts also made presentations.