DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Ahead of next week’s primary, candidates running for Durham City Council At-Large seats made their case Wednesday evening on why they deserve the job. 

10 of the 12 candidates that have filed to run were on stage at the Holton Career and Resource Center in Durham.

One of the topics addressed during the forum was dealing with violent crime in Durham.  

Earlier this week a Duke graduate student died in a double shooting on Worth Street in Durham. 

Last Wednesday, police said 21-year-old Taqon Blake was shot and killed behind the W.D. Hill Recreation Center. 

Some candidates during Wednesday’s forum say other issues the city faces are connected to crime. 

“No one has the exact answer but what I will say is we need people to have better access to jobs.  We need people to have better access to housing,” stated Monique Holsey Hyman, who currently holds an at-large seat. 

“One in seven residents in Durham live in poverty.  So, we got to change that,” candidate Carl Rist later said.

Latest city data through September shows homicides up slightly from 2022 and shootings up by more than 100 over this time last year. 

Multiple candidates also saying part of the solution is helping young people. 

“We really need to put our money where our mouth is and invest in recreation.  We need to say no child should be without something to do after school, over the weekend and during the summer,” Nate Baker explained. 

“The problem is that it’s three different governments that are doing pieces of this.  So, we do need a lot better alignment,” current city council member and candidate, Javiera Caballero, mentioned moments later. 

The primary election is next Tuesday, Oct.10. Early voting will continue through Saturday.