Bowling Green City Commission candidates meet in a forum

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- On Tuesday night, candidates for Bowling Green City Commission met for a forum on issues of importance for immigrants and refugees.

Each candidate had their own opinions on what they would like to see moving forward to improve immigrant lives.

One thing that a majority of candidates referred to, was making sure that immigrants are able to acclimate into a new culture.

Rick Williams says, "What we need to do is focus on education, and that goes from both sides. They're new to our area, and we're new to their culture."

"We have to do as a community, as a city, a good job of helping them acclimate to becoming Americans," says Brian "Slim" Nash.

"There's always been somewhat of a language barrier," explains Matt Stephens. "I think the city and the county need to work together to eliminate that language barrier."

Some candidates expressed the importance of making immigrant lives easier and how they would do it.

Andrew Manley says he would raise minimum wage and try to approve the Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act (URLTA) which he says would give landlords and tenants more equal rights.

Derek Reeder who is a nurse, says the immigrant population is a growing one and that the City Commission should look out for their health and well-being.

Some candidates want to use time and attention to deal with each problem as it arises.

"The needs of the populous have changed," says Dan Rudloff. "I'm on a listening tour. I want to listen to problems people are experiencing."

One of the most mentioned suggestions for improving immigrant lives was more suitable public transportation that could help more than just immigrants.

"Transportation I think is one issue that comes up a lot," says Ryan Gene Fulkerson. "We need to consider having public transportation that goes to the factories and some of the places where people work."

Nate Morguelan has a similar approach. He believes that public transit needs to be drastically improved, and that it would benefit more than just immigrants and refugees.

Jennifer Morlan suggested a program that would grant gas vouchers for workers getting off their feet so that they can get to and from work initially.

All of the candidates agreed that all citizens of the town mattered and that each and every person should be treated that way.

"We need to take care of all of our citizens," says Sue Parrigin. "We need to make sure that the individual needs of certain populations are being met and are being met successfully."

Only 10 of the 12 candidates were present for the forum. Joe Denning and Mark Bradford were both absent.

The final election for City Commission is November 8.

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