Video: City Council District 2 candidates share contrasting visions in runoff forum

Lighthouse Luncheon Runoff forum District 2Runoff candidates for City Council District 2, Jada Andrews-Sullivan and Keith Toney, answered questions from the  audience on June 3, 2019 at a forum hosted by the LightHouse Luncheon Group at the Plaza Club in Frost Bank Tower.

The conversation was moderated by Mario Salas, a former city councilman for District 2 who is a professor of political science and African American studies at UTSA. (Scroll down to watch complete video of the event.)

At their 20th candidate forum of the race, the competitors were good-natured and polite, even as they described very different priorities for District 2.

Andrews-Sullivan said the biggest issues in District 2 were crime, especially among youth, and high property taxes. “A lot of people don’t realize that we were the generation that was kind of tossed to the side, because we had all the gang violence that fed into that one school. We had the shooting that happened, and it was glorified, but never rectified… What you’re seeing today is the remnants of our children that we had that are continuing to perpetuate the cycle,” she said.

Toney said he wants to prioritize economic development and infrastructure. “You might wonder, why doesn’t he say crime? Because I think crime is a symptom because people are hurt, and hurt people hurt people… Right now they feel hopeless and helpless,” he said. “We have to get them an alternative. That’s why we work with people who can do that in the district, get us some job training… We want some job training from folks that look like us.”

One topic that sparked emotion was the fate of Confederate memorials. Toney got a round of applause as he explained why keeping the the memorials would be un-American.

“Robert E. Lee was an insurgent. He declared war on the established government of this country,” he said. “...Now, I understand that he was a general, and he was an effective general. But he was an effective general for the other side, the enemy. He turned against the established government of this country. I’m a Vietnam veteran. I brought a bronze star back from Vietnam. I didn’t turn against my nation. Robert E. Lee did. The fact that he’s white makes no difference to me. If it were Booker T. Washington, I’d say the same thing. He turned against it. Why did he do it? To maintain an established rule of law that was illegal and immoral, and we call it enslavement.”

Click through to see video of the candidates answers to questions from the audience and the moderator:

What do you see as the top two priorities for District 2?

Tell us what your plan is to get us off of the top of the list of  worst areas for economic segregation?

There’s been a lot of talk about the police and the fire department fighting for free healthcare. How are we to pay for that?

How will you work with the other city council members to build consensus without selling District 2 short?

What kind of relationship do you anticipate having with the mayor?

Are you building a professional team or is it already built?

In terms of zoning, if there was one thing you could change about zoning in District 2, what would you change and why?

(Concerning the Chick-Fil-A controversy) What would you do to address the issue of religious freedom, as well as what we’re going to do with our airport leadership, our airport use, concessions, because of this overturn by the Legislature? What would you do to change state legislature regarding that?

What are yur opinions on the removal of Confederate statues?

Clarification: Is Chick-Fil-A being closed on Sunday the issue when people are talking about religious freedom?