The Rhode Island House District 58 candidate forum

Carlos Tobon and Jonathan Vallecilla

Jonathan Vallecilla is challenging State Representative Carlos Tobon (District 58, Pawtucket) for his seat in the upcoming Democratic primary. The Fairlawn Against Crime Team (FACT) held a candidate forum moderated by WBOB talk show host Scott Rotondo.

Below is all the video from the event. Each candidate was given two minutes to answer each question.

“What are your thoughts as to the perception of a racial divide in [Pawtucket]?”

“What would you do, specifically, to address these disparities in the city?”

“The Cape Verdean community in Pawtucket represents a large segment of our residents but the needs of this community are very rarely examined or advocated for by our elected officials. What do you percieve to be the issues and needs of this segment of our community and what would you do at the state level to address them?”

“What is your view on usury laws that would cap the amount of interest on pay day lending companies that they can charge Rhode Islanders on short-term loans?”

“What are your thoughts on the PawSox deal and why do you support it or not support it?”

Carlos Tobon: “Can you tell us a little bit about your proposal paying people $10,000 to live in Rhode Island?”

“Regarding the recently defeated transfer station, we want to hear what both candidates did, specifically, in terms of reaching out, working with the city council, supporting candidates that were against the transfer station or speaking out verbally on social media against the idea.”

“So Concord Street might be off the table, but we still have a transfer station in our district. It’s a public safety hazard, it’s a detractor from the quality of life here in Fairlawn, and it’s a sad reminder that our elected officials kind of neglected the neighborhood. So what’s your idea for solving the problem, would you involve residents and if so, how?”

“Line item veto: Yes or no and why, or why not?”

“What are your views on the legislative grants given by the Speaker?”

“Would you ever use campaign account funds for travel, trip expenses for your family or other personal means?”

“What makes you a better choice for this seat than your challenger?”

A follow up question from the audience asking Vallecilla to elaborate on an earlier response in which he said that money, though important, is not the most important factor when deciding on what to do.

Tobon is asked to clarify his comments regarding the transfer stations, when he responded that decisions about that issue are decided on a city level, and that staee level elected officials have little say in such matters. Also, since the issue of trash disposal is going to soon be a state wide issue, what are we doing to address this at the state level?

A sprawling question regarding Pawtucket’s Memorial Hospital, McCoy Stadium, the beautification of downtown Pawtucket, the waterfront and the rat problem.

A question from the audience about attendance at the General Assembly. Tobon, a reserve officer in the Coast Guard, sometimes misses important votes.

A second question about property taxes and the effect on the elderly, who are at risk of losing their homes.

Carlos Tobon
Jonathan Vallecilla

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