HARRISBURG, Pa. — With the May primaries fast approaching, local candidates and voters came together for a meet-and-greet event at the Harrisburg NAACP.
“It’s very important to come out and learn about our candidates at every opportunity we can get, so we can see them in different elements," said Kimeka Campbell, a Harrisburg resident.
“I think what’s really important and really resonates with our community is that they can contact us and we are accessible," said Courtney Powell, a candidate for the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas.
People engaged with candidates on several key issues facing Harrisburg, including reducing crime, improving education and affordable housing.
“I think the most important thing is better communication between the citizens and the police department," said Denise Scott, a Harrisburg resident
“We have a lot of dilapidated and empty homes in the city that need to be restructured," said Campbell.
“As the children go back to school, we want to make sure they’re equipped, are safe, and are being catered for," said Khaffak Ansari, a Susquehanna Township resident.
While local elections don’t typically get the kind of voter turnout seen in statewide and federal elections, candidates and voters alike say local elections are vitally important.
“Your local election is the most important election," said Loriann Jenkins, a candidate for the Dauphin County Magisterial District Justice. "And when you don’t pay attention to that, you are putting your life in peril.”
“Your local council, like our city council, votes on ARPA money and the budget, determines what happens with our roads and infrastructure,” said Campbell.
Thursday’s meet-and-greet event could go a long way to determine which candidates on stage will serve their communities.
“That’s what I’m for, candidates that will serve the people and not themselves, and make Harrisburg a safer and better place to live," said Scott.
The Pennsylvania primaries are on Tuesday, May 16.