The five candidates challenging incumbent David Medina for City Council District 5 - Richard Cardenas, Shirley Gonzales, John Carlos Garcia, Ricardo Briones, and Frank Ramirez - all say the representation in the district has been sub-standard.
They talked about their ideas at a town hall meeting on March 16 on the stage of the Guadalupe Arts Cultural Center in the heart of district 5, but Medina was missing.
His staff said he had already set up a kick-off campaign event an hour prior to the start of the town hall, where he said he's ready to take on his third term and he's confident of the support behind him.
Critics have said Medina lacks experience, and his opponents say they're sick of the lack of representation.
Gonzales said the district is sacrificing.
"My vote would be representative of the vote of the public, of the district," said Gonzales, "and so whatever the wishes are of the district is what I promise to represent."
In the area of public safety, Cardenas said there is money to be found that doesn't have to come from the city's budget.
"With limited funds and without raising taxes, we need to be creative in being able to draw from other factors and from other monies that might be out there," Cardenas said.
Ramirez said the district could use that money to address the street and curb issues, and Briones, who grew up next to train tracks, said the West Side is riddled with train traffic noise.
Election day is May 11.