IN Focus: Which issues are most important to voters in Indy?

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – We are just one day away from the Indianapolis Mayoral Debate, as FOX59 teams up with the West Side Chamber of Commerce to present a live, televised debate featuring incumbent Democratic Mayor Joe Hogsett, Republican State Senator Jim Merritt and Libertarian candidate Douglas McNaughton.

So what are voters hoping to hear from the candidates?

We asked Indianapolis voters on Twitter to choose between public safety, economic development and roads and infrastructure. We also asked some voters on different sides of Indy to weigh in on what is most important to them.

“I’ve only worked down here since August, and definitely, I’ve seen an increase in homelessness around here,” said Kasha Williams.

“The homeless people in the streets, I'm feeling bad for them a lot," added Keasia Hill.

They said they would like to see the next mayor of Indianapolis provide more resources to homeless people in the city. Jay Jackson has different priorities.

“Probably making the city more accessible via public transit, making the bike paths better, potholes,” said Jackson.

Every person we interviewed said they would like the next Indy mayor to concentrate on fixing potholes.

“I’ve had to replace several tires so far,” said Williams.

“I know so many people that got potholes twice in one week last winter," added  Suraj Choudhary. "Doesn’t look like we will be catching any breaks this winter, so, I just want to see some more foresight into that.”

Scott Huffman said he would like to see some more road and bridge maintenance.

“We have an old 1912 or 1902 bridge up here on 21st Street that looks like it’s about ready to fall, you know? It needs to be repaired, at least I think it does,” said Huffman.

Choudhary said he would like to see the mayor push more recycling initiatives.

“Massachusetts Avenue is such a big, modern, hipster hangout place, yet it doesn’t have any recycling means at any of its restaurants," said Choudhary. "One of my friends worked there and tried to get that started but couldn’t quite. There was a lot of red tape and loopholes to get through, so, if that can be made easier for businesses to start more green initiatives, I personally find that important.”

Ultimately, those who participated in our poll on Twitter feel public safety is the most important issue. Kasha Williams said she can see why. She said the number of homicides has definitely gone up over the years.

“I feel like every other day, I’m hearing someone say RIP," said Williams.

She would like to see how these candidates plan to bring that number down.

To learn more about where the candidates stand on these issues, tune into the debate airing Monday at 7 p.m. on FOX59. It will also be streamed online.

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You can visit the candidates' websites to learn more by clicking on their names below.

Joe Hogsett

Jim Merritt

Douglas McNaughton

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