Waco mayoral candidates talk racial inequality

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WACO, Texas – Both of the candidates’ reactions after learning of the death of George Floyd in Minnesota were similar.

“8 minutes and 46 seconds of horror. It’s too much,” said David Murrow.

“That is absolutely unacceptable conduct and should completely be held accountable,” Councilman Dillon Meek said.

Holding officers accountable for police misconduct has been the center piece of conversation across the country. FOX44 News asked the candidates how they would ensure officers in Waco are held accountable.

“I think that continuing to have a dialogue with community members leaders in our communities of color about ensuring that our policies are accurate and up to speed. I believe our police chief is working very deligently and hard to take these matters seriously,” said Meek.

“I would hold people accountable for their actions and they have to follow proper police procedures,” Murrow said.

According to a report by the provided by the City of Waco, whites account for 43 percent of Qaco’s population but hold 80 percent of the jobs paying more than $40,000 as of 2015.

FOX44 News asked Waco’s the candidates about how they would address this economic contrast if elected.

“We can help solve some of the poverty problems in Waco. We can help a lot of individuals have a better life. Our poverty rate in Waco is twice that of Texas,” said Murrow.

“First thing we need to do as a city is look at how our city business is run, hiring policies, purchasing policies, procurement policies and ensuring that we are looking at those policies with an equitable lens,” Meek said.

According to this same report, among white households, 13.5 percent make less than $25,000 a year, compared with 25.3 percent among Hispanics and 51.1 percent among blacks.

Nearly 29 percent of white households make more than $100,000 a year, compared with 3.3 percent for blacks and 8.7 percent for Hispanics.

African Americans in 2017 had a 31 percent mortgage denial rate, compared with 20.9 percent for Hispanics and 11.7 percent for whites.

“First of all, we have a brain drain. Young black and brown folks who get a good education often leave for bigger cities because there’s better opportunities. I think we need to create opportunities here by promoting opportunities to start small businesses and be entrepreneurs,” Murrow said.

“This is your town and we want to learn as best as we can how to ensure that you know this is your town and you have a place and that you will grow and advance here,” said Meek.

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