From violence to infrastructure, housing to transportation and more -- Mid-City high school students questioned San Diego mayoral candidates on issues affecting their community at a student-led debate Thursday night.
Students from the Hoover High School's Social Justice Academy organized the debate -- doing everything from publicity, researching issues, and inviting the candidates themselves.
San Diego City Council member Barbara Bry, California Assemblymember Todd Gloria, technology worker Rich Riel and community activist Tasha Williamson took questions prepared by the students.
City Councilman Scott Sherman could not attend due to a prior engagement.
Students involved with the planning said the top issues facing their community of City Heights are violence, infrastructure, housing, transportation, air quality, and rent control.
"In my family, it's just my mom, younger sister, and I, and my mom works as a janitor and gets paid minimum wage, so it's hard for her to always make rent payments," said senior, Miryam Fajardo.
Her concerns were echoed by Luisana Chavez, a junior at the school who lives in a rented apartment with her family.
"...living there 10 years, and she always raises the rent every year by $100, and sometimes there are tough times, where you just can't pay it," Chavez said.
Sophomore Charlie Rodriguez, who also lives with his family also in a rented apartment said, "If everyone keeps raising the bar, then at some point no one is going to be able to afford to live."
All said they would like to know the candidates care about the struggles of their community.
"I'm looking forward to seeing it all come to life," said Chavez who worked with Fajardo on logistics.