Mayoral Candidates discuss Rapid City racism - KOTA Territory News

Mayoral Candidates discuss Rapid City racism

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This week we're asking the two candidates for Rapid City Mayor several questions regarding current issues in the city as well as their vision for the future.

Tonight, we ask Incumbent Mayor Sam Kooiker and challenger Mark Kirkeby about racism. 

Does Rapid City have a problem?

"Well it's nice we're doing this interview in my backyard in Roosevelt Park, I've lived here almost 25 years." said Kirkeby. "There certainly will be those who might not agree with me but we are all of the same community, we're all neighbors, all friends we certainly can't be close minded and stereotype. But I do believe overall our community is an incredible melting pot and we welcome all citizens to Rapid City."

"You know I think it's important to recognize there is always more that we can do." said Kooiker."I believe racism is a heart condition and it is up to the voters to regulate that condition and elected officials, and that is done at the ballot box with frequent and fair elections. As mayor one of the focuses that I have is to listen to our native community to find ways to increase involvement. We've put in a polling place at Lakota Homes for the first time ever and we've addressed the redistricting issues that we've had in north Rapid City and are also empowering our human relations commission to do more in our community." 

Tomorrow, the mayoral candidates give their top three priorities for Rapid City.

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