ROANOKE, Va. – There is less than a week until people in the City of Roanoke will be voting for three city council seats, choosing between nine candidates: three Democrats, three Republicans, and three Independents.
Independent candidates include Jamaal Jackson, Preston Tyler, and David Bowers.
Bowers is no stranger to public service – he previously served as Roanoke’s Mayor for 16 years.
Bowers told 10 News if elected to council, his number one priority is restaffing the police department. According to the city, there are around 50 vacant officer positions.
“The number one issue is crime and gun violence. If we can’t live in a safe city, nobody is going to want to be here,” said Bowers.
Click through the photo gallery below to get to know all nine candidates:
Jamaal Jackson has experience working in the community, like serving on the Roanoke Neighborhood Advocates Board and as a police chaplain. He is also the lead pastor at ReFreshing Church.
Jackson said his biggest concern is public safety, which he wants to address by bringing resources into neighborhoods.
“I believe that when people are invested in our neighborhoods and they’re invested in our city then they have a sense of pride and sense of appreciation which curves our violence, it curves our depreciation of home values,” said Jackson.
Preston Tyler is also a local pastor at Hill Street Baptist Church. He said his experience shows he is a people person ready to serve the citizens of Roanoke.
Tyler told 10 News his biggest concern is gun violence and he wants to shift the city’s response from being reactive to more proactive.
“I think we need to put back in place satellite police stations. We used to have it around the city years ago. I think we need to go back to that. They can walk the beat, ride bicycles, be in the neighborhood, building trust with the neighborhood,” said Tyler.
Learn more about the republican and democratic candidates running for Roanoke City Council, here.