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The May primaries are just around the corner. Who you gonna vote for? Decide with these helpful Mercury mini-profiles!

Jim Francesconi

Mayoral Candidate

Can you give some examples of what you mean by needing more "public participation"?

We need a unified effort by business, labor, the neighborhoods, churches and individuals to address the problems of creating jobs to keep families and our children in the city. For example, I have created the Parks Board, made up of citizens to advise the Parks and Recreation Bureau.

How would you make city hall more accessible to the public?

Those of us in city government, including the mayor, need to be out in the community. I've visited more than 25 business districts in the city and many neighborhoods. The neighborhoods need to have more influence in how the city spends its capital dollars.

How do you plan to work with the homeless?

The first thing we have to understand about homelessness is that people who are homeless need a wide range of services--not just shelter. Most important, they need jobs. We've asked the health-care industry in the city to work with Central City Concern to help find jobs for the homeless.

Orin Scott Lutz

Mayoral Candidate

Why are you running?

I've always wanted to try it. I've been involved off and on with politics, and I thought, "Why not try something big?"

Would you push for a stadium?

I'd love to see a major-league baseball stadium--but it's just not a good idea right now. There's so much we need to do with that money, like putting it toward education.

How did you feel about Measure 30?

It's a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation. If you vote for the tax, people who can't afford it will be paying more. If you don't vote for it, programs that need the money won't get it. A lot of people I talk to are afraid the government will pocket the money.

How would you make the mayor's office more accessible to the community?

Look--I'm a normal guy. I'm not one of these big politicians, so I understand what people are feeling. I'd be more of a friend.

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