by Jack Wampler
Here are the highlights from the Ward 3 Forum hosted by PCDP on June 5th, 2021:
Starting with transportation, the candidates had differing views on the Regional Transportation Authority, an independent taxing district approved in 2006 meant to fund transportation projects in Pima County. Juan Padres supports the RTA whereas Kevin Dahl is in opposition to the district. Furthermore, Kevin Dahl noted priorities such as the expansion of the modern streetcar, an improved bus system, and an improvement of walkable areas. Juan Padres highlighted the need for an electric fleet of public busses and vans, more nimble bus systems, and safer walkable areas and crossings.
On the environment, particularly water waste, Juan Padres highlighted education in terms of our water future, as well as being very watchful of companies that are water wasteful. Kevin Dahl, a longtime conservationist, also spoke on the importance of education and the need to use technology such as water harvesting to decrease water waste.
Both candidates recognized the crisis of housing affordability in terms of rent and ownership.
Padres pointed out that Ward 3 has never elected a minority Council Member even though the ward is approximately 40% Hispanic and also spoke on the importance of policing but said that the police force should better represent their community and should move towards volunteer and communal policing. Dahl noted his privilege but said that there are improvements that can be made of the TPD, including working more with the community and particularly people of color.