City council members discuss future of homelessness in Duluth

In Duluth, approximately 1 in every 4 people lives at, or below, the poverty line, according to CHUM employee Matt Traynor. A forum held on Oct. 23 in downtown Duluth gave advocates searching for poverty solutions a chance to question city council candidates about how they would approach the issue. Local Solutions to Poverty was held at Trepanier Hall last Wednesday with dozens of people in attendance. Many waited eagerly to hear how the candidates would represent those in need. The election for city council will be held on Nov. 5.

DSC_7292 Trepanier Hall Photo by Daniel Badhwa

Several speakers were given a few minutes to tell their stories about how they have dealt with poverty. Afterward, the speakers were able to ask the city council candidates a few questions about how they would improve the living situation of those living in poverty.

“This has been a long time coming,” said Barb Russ, one of the candidates. “We have got to be organized. We can’t sit back and hope that just the city council is going to do everything. We need to work together as a whole community, and I am looking forward to being able to help with that.”

Ryan Stauber, Skip Sandman, Howie Hanson, Barb Russ, Zach Filipovich, and Patrick Boyle rounded out the candidates in attendance. All of which supported a majority of the ideas presented.

Steve Gallagher, one of the speakers at the forum wasn’t happy with the candidates simply saying they would do something, instead, he wants to see action.

Below is the segment of the forum in which Gallagher spoke.


“There was a lot of talk,” said Gallagher. “The candidates talk a good talk, but when it comes down to the nitty-gritty, what are they really going to do if they do get in?”

After the candidates were given an opportunity to speak, they wrote down whether or not they would support the issues presented. Their responses will be kept in order to hold them to their word.

DSC_7304 Candidates were also given the opportunity to do more research on the question before giving a yes or no answer. Photo by Daniel Badhwa

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