Residents look to voice concerns over jobs, gun control to 21st District Senate race candidates

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ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - Election day is coming up, and people in the Star City are meeting with candidates challenging 21st district incumbent Senator John Edwards.

Grassroots organizers with Community Cultivators said they will hold two community meetings: One on Tuesday with Donald Caldwell and another on Friday with Nancy Dye. They invited candidates from the 21st District Senate race to discuss, among other things, issues affecting urban areas.

"I want to hear the candidates say that they are reaching out to bigger companies and industries and try to get more jobs available to people" said Khalid Jones, Community Cultivators Inc..

This year's election comes on the heels of Norfolk Southern's relocation and other job losses in Roanoke. People said job creation, higher wages and economic development are key topics when deciding who to vote for. Gun violence is also a concern. Residents point to the shooting death of Aryah Lipford who died just days before her second birthday. Jones said knowing where candidates stand on key issues is important.

"I would hope the candidates would talk more about the gun violence" said Jones. "Let's have a conversation to find out what the community needs from these candidates."

Organizers said they have already met with Senator Edwards. Now they want to know how the other candidates plan to address people's concerns.

Tuesday's meeting with Caldwell is scheduled for 9 a.m. at  Clean Cuts Barber Shop, located at  612 11th St. NW.