9th Assembly District candidates meet at NAACP forum, participate in straw poll

Jim Cooper (left), Eric Rigard, and Tracie Stafford at the NAACP candidate forum. | 

At a voters forum sponsored yesterday by the Greater Sacramento NAACP at Luther Burbank High School in Sacramento, three of the candidates for the California State Assembly District 9 met onstage and participated in a straw poll. The three candidates appearing included incumbent Jim Cooper (D - Elk Grove), and Democratic challenger Tracie Stafford and Republican Eric Rigard. 

The three participants are on the March 2 primary ballot along with a fourth candidate, Mushtaq Tahirkheli, who did not appear, are competing to finish in the top two for a runoff in November general election.

After the candidate's introductory remarks, questions were posed by Bertha Gordon of the National Coalition of 100 Black Woman. The topics included the use of force by police, school disciplinary actions against Black students, homelessness, housing affordability, food deserts as it relates to health care access, and the Schools and Communities First Funding Act, which could make changes to Califonia's landmark Proposition 13. 

The one topic that revealed the most differences and elicited strong audience response was on homelessness. While all three candidates agreed on some of the causes, one of Richard's solutions elicited a negative audience response when he said incarceration could be an option if individuals refuse rehabilitation services.

"With drugs and I-V drug users [who are homeless], my particular point of view is they should be given two options," Rigard said, "One, they go into rehabilitation, two they got to spend some time in jail." 

When asked about high expulsion rates for Black students, Cooper noted many of the children had been traumatized, and more attention must be given to social services. Cooper also noted that many school districts do not have counselors. 

"We don't do enough with our communities to deal with those social issues," Cooper said. "We got to deal with it one way or another, and it is a lot cheaper to do it at the front end." 

On the topic of a possible rollback of Proposition 13 on commercial property via the proposed First Funding Act, Stafford said she supports it, but there is inaccurate information on the proposition which could be on the November ballot. She noted commercial property owners have benefitted from a proposition intended for residential property owners.  

"They should be reaccessed regularly, so they are at the market rate for commercial properties," Stafford said.

At the end of the discussion, the audience participated in a straw poll of their preferred candidate. Stafford received 160 votes to Cooper's 55, and votes tallies for Rigard were not available. 

In addition to the 9th Assembly District forum and straw polls, the same activities were for Sacramento City Council Districts 2 and 8. In District 2, incumbent Allen Warren beat challengers Lamar Jefferson, Ramona Landeros, and Sean Loloee while Mai Vang topped Les Simmons for District 8. Tallies were not available. 

The 9th Assembly discussion can be viewed in the video posted below.  

Copyright by Elk Grove News © 2020. All right reserved.


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Spoons and Forks said...

Pretty funny that Cooper said the solution to food deserts was his distribution of 3,000 free thanksgiving turkeys. I guess he wanted to mention that somewhere, so that's how he worked it into the forum.

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