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Podcasts and forums will query Ward 1 Riverside City Council candidates

Homelessness, the looming pension crisis and the future of downtown are among the decisions that the next council person to represent Riverside’s Ward 1 will help decide, and voters in June will decide who makes those decisions.
To make sure voters have the information to choose wisely, a coalition of neighborhood groups are putting on a series of candidate forums and podcast interviews.
Each of the three candidates — Mike Gardner, Erin Edwards and Philip J. Falcone — have confirmed their participation in the forums, which will be in different neighborhoods of the ward, according to a news release.
The candidates were also interviewed individually for more than an hour about issues facing the ward and their plans. Those interviews are online at https://www.danariverside.com/podcast .
The Downtown Area Neighborhood Alliance is focused on crime, homelessness, and the city’s ability to maintain and improve residents’ quality of life in the face of a projected budget deficit, said its president, Vincent Erviti.
“Residents must be a part of that conversation — there are decisions on the horizon that will determine the city’s short and long term successes,” Erviti said. “These forums will allow us to ask those questions and more.”
The nominating period for Ward 1, which includes downtown, the Northside and Wood Streets neighborhoods, ended Friday, March 8 . Potential candidates can file to run for wards 3, 5 and 7 until Wednesday, March 13, according to City Clerk Colleen Nicol.
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Ward 1 candidates have agreed to the following forums:

Wednesday, March 13, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the RCC Digital Library Auditorium, 4800 Magnolia Ave.
Wednesday, March 27, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at The American Legion Post 79 in Fairmount Park, 2979 Dexter Drive.
Monday, April 8, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Springbrook Clubhouse, 1100 Orange St.
Wednesday, April 24, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church, 5969 Brockton Ave.

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The project will conclude with a “Meet the Candidates” picnic in Fairmount Park from noon to 2 p.m. May 11.
The deadline to vote in the all-mail ballot election is June 4.

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