Candid conversation

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

Last Thursday, May 31, was our third and final candidate forum before the June 12 primary elections. This forum, for Reno mayor candidates, was easily our best attended. We billed the events as “Speak Youth to Power,” hoping to attract some young people out to ask questions. And while there was a handful of young people at last week’s forum, most of the crowd was gray-haired.

Still, the event was fascinating. Four candidates showed up—Azzi Shirazi, Eddie Lorton, William Mantle and incumbent Hillary Schieve—and to my mind, showing up gave those four candidates an edge over the other four on the ballot. (At our city council forum a few weeks ago, only incumbents Naomi Duerr and Paul McKenzie showed up. For both the city council and mayor forums, all of the candidates were invited.)

The discussion ranged from management of public spaces to the presence of strip clubs downtown. The sexual harassment claims filed against former city manager Andrew Clinger were a big topic, and the issue of sexual harassment seemed to make some candidates a little uncomfortable.

The topic that came up the most was cost-of-living—rents going up, affordable housing hard to find and harder to hold on to, and people getting pissed.

These forums were collaborations among us, the website This is Reno, the community radio station KWNK, arts nonprofit the Holland Project, and the Washoe County Library System. Folks from all those outfits worked hard on the project, and I thank them all. An extra big thanks to Alejandra Hernández Chávez, a community organizer from ACTIONN, who was fantastic moderating all three forums.

We’ll be back with something similar before the general election in November. And don’t forget to vote on Tuesday!