7 of 8 Shreveport mayoral hopefuls field questions at forum about LGBTQ equality

Updated: Aug. 19, 2018 at 10:57 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - There was standing room only at forum Sunday afternoon during which seven of Shreveport's eight mayoral hopefuls were questioned about their thoughts on LGBTQ equality.

The candidates also fielded questions about anti-discrimination efforts and furthering education on such topics that some describe as imperative for the city to progress.

"For every single candidate here, there are people in the audience who share their political beliefs," said Adrienne Critcher, political director for People Acting for Change and Equality, or PACE, which sponsored the forum.

"We want smart people to come here. We want people with good ideas, people who think outside the box," she continuted.

"It turns out those kinds of people look to see how does a city treat its LGBT population?"

Shreveport social worker Sam Ortiz said transparency is an extremely important attribute for a candidate to have.

"If I'm going to case my vote for you, I need to know if you're going to protect my interests."

Candidates also need to understand why this issue is imperative for progress, Ortiz said.

"Having elected officials in office that understand why these things are important to us and why we deserve equal protections and equal rights is what helps us get those things."

Susan Bettinger, who has lived in Shreveport for nearly 50 years, thinks the city's future is "... hanging in the balance."

So she wants candidates who are forward-thinking and innovative.

"Look ahead, look forward, beyond whatever is boiling at the moment. Five years down the pike, what do they want the city to look like and how do they plan to take it there?

KEY DATES

  • Shreveport's mayoral election is among decisions voters will face Nov. 6.
  • A runoff election, if necessary, would be held Dec. 8.
  • People have until Oct. 9 to register to vote or update their voter registration in person.
  • The online deadline is Oct. 16.
  • Early voting will be conducted Oct. 23-30 at parish registrar of voters offices.

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