Roanoke City Democratic forum opens the floor for candidates - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Roanoke City Democratic forum opens the floor for candidates

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Roanoke City heard from candidates seeking the 11th District House of Delegates seat from the Democratic party Tuesday night.

A Roanoke organization for African-American professionals is hosting the forum.
 
The 11th District House of Delegates seat that will be vacated by retiring Democrat Onzlee Ware.

he four democratic candidates who want to succeed onzlee ware, took the stage for Tuesday nights forum as perhaps the first candidates to make mental health a primary issue in the wake of the tragedy that took the life of senator Creigh deeds son, and left the senator in critical condition for a time at UVA medical center.

     Court Rosen pointed out that Virginia shouldn't only focus on headline grabbing tragedies --but pay attention to the hundreds of thousands who are affected by mental illness everyday.

"We hear about the tragedy's when it is senator deeds or when students in schools get shot. we don't hear about those tragedy's that occur everyday in those communities," Rosen said.

A practicing physician, dave Trinkle says he's all too familiar with the subject...and says he could apply his knowledge of treating mental illness to creating effective legislation.

"I do home visits," TTrinklesaid. "I am out there everyday trying to help patients and their families trying to navigate what is incredibly difficult system."

 Tackling the topic of how to pay for necessary reforms Trish Boyd wants to build on Onzlee Wares focus on medicade expansion.

 

"The medicade expansion will include mental health care, substance abuse treatment and corrections related health care so that would be a plus," Boyd said.

Sam Rasoul spoke on treating those incarcerated who suffer from mental illnesses, instead of releasing them back into society untreated.

 

"What we have done is just locked everybody up. you have a problem, we just lock you up. if you get out and you have a mental health problem, what happens is recitative crimes," Rasoul said.

 Now it will be up to the democratic voters during the primaries to decide who will be the best person to tackle the issue.

 

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