TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Chances are you've seen their signs around town, but outside of that most Toledoans likely haven't heard from every city council candidate. That changed Tuesday as nearly every contender gathered for an open forum at the new Mott Branch Library
"We want to know what their mission is, their vision is, what ideas they have for the community," Toledo NAACP chapter president Ray Wood said.
Wood says the chapter decided to put on the community conversation with the goal of getting voters informed ahead of the September 10th Primary election.
"Our district council people, they actually are boots on the ground," Wood said. "So we just want to make sure that we have all our i's dotted and t's crossed."
Currently, 17 candidates spanning Districts 1 through 5 are officially on the ballot. Once voters have their say only two people per-district will move on to the November 5th general election.
"We just want to make sure our candidate [that] we pick will be the person that's going to be there when we need them," Toledoan Gail Austin said.
Austin was one of the dozens of people who turned out to hear from the candidates. Some familiar names included current council members Tyrone Riley and Yvonne Harper. Others tossed their name out for the first time, including block watch advocate Tina Scott and community activist Robert Gabriel.
Regardless of who gets the nod voters like Patricia Pollard say they want a council member who's focused on improving the city and reducing blight.
"Those are our neighborhoods, and we want to be proud of them," Pollard said. "I want to be able to tell you to come and not be ashamed that you're there."
Currently, only two candidates are running for the District 6 seat, including incumbent Chris Delaney. Since there are only two candidates they automatically move on to November's election.