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RACINE — Former mayoral candidate and incumbent Alderman Sandy Weidner faces a challenger in the April 3 City Council election.

Jen Adamski-Torres is running against Weidner for the 6th District alderman position on the Racine City Council. The two also faced each other in a 2016 primary featuring three candidates for the seat.

The aldermanic post carries a two-year term and earns $6,899.88 each year. All even-numbered seats on the City Council are up for election April 3.

Adamski-Torres and Weidner provided The Journal Times information about their backgrounds and their interest in the aldermanic position.

What motivated you to run for office?

Adamski-Torres: I want to see Racine become a place where our children and grandchildren can stay and succeed. Having served in ministry here for a decade, I’ve seen — and lived — the challenges that we are facing here.

We all deserve a voice in our government. To do so, we need equal representation to address those issues for everyone in the district. As a working mother with a child in (Racine Unified School District), and as someone with over two decades of business and nonprofit experience, I have the drive to work hard and bring solutions, not just concerns, to City Council.

Weidner: To continue to serve the people of the 6th District to the best of my ability, to keep local government accountable, and to create an environment of transparency in City Hall.

What do you see as the issues in this race?

Adamski-Torres: Talking with neighbors, I’ve heard three constantly recurring topics: neighborhood safety; economic stability; and representation in government. For far too long, major sections of the district have been ignored. By addressing systemic issues through smart policy, we can improve life for everyone, not just a privileged few with access.

We must alleviate the burden on regular working people and retirees. We need to identify alternatives to growing our local economy and diversify our tax base.

Weidner: Being the voice of the people, rather than a voice for a political party.

What should be Racine’s top priority to advance the city in the course of this position’s term, and why?

Adamski-Torres: We are at a turning point as a city. We need to work towards improving quality of life for all of us — positioning our city to take advantage of potential economic growth in the region, helping local businesses expand by streamlining the start-up process, eliminating blight in our neighborhoods, and gaining small wins to build our tax base.

Weidner: Creating an environment for small business to locate and to grow and improving our neighborhoods so that the City of Racine is the city of choice for people to move to, rather than from.

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Sari Lesk covers the City of Racine, Gateway and UW-Parkside. She is new to the community and moonlights as an amateur baker.

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