Rockford’s five mayoral candidates made their pitch to become the city’s next leader at a forum, held Tuesday evening at the Jane Addams Community Center. Hosted by The ORCHID Neighborhood Association, the candidates fielded a variety of topics. Crime was at the top of many people’s lists.
“If you help someone find housing or employment, you reduce their rate of recidivism,” said Tom McNamara (D). “If you increase their educational level by one grade level, you reduce their rate of recidivism.”
“We need to bring back our public scanner channel,” urged Brian Leggero (R). “The scanner was turned off recently and… more informed citizens are safer citizens.”
“Our community neighborhood groups, [bring] them together,” said Pam Connell (R). “Fighting as a community [and say] ‘Enough is enough. This is not the norm.’ The norm should be that we know every single one of our neighbors and we know something is wrong.”
“Three things that drive crime are domestic violence, human trafficking, and one of the things we tend to ignore, but we really need to focus on mental health,” said Rudy Valdez (I).
“We need to find out why the person is frustrated,” said Ronnie Manns (L). “[We need to] catch them early in the game and try to get them from getting to anger. If we can do that, your crime will go down.”
The primary election will be held next month.