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'Stop the killing. Stop the violence': 2nd Listening Lab session kicks off Tuesday

We went to this week's three locations to hear some of the issues people were talking about.

MACON, Ga. — The Listening Lab will be hitting the roads again Tuesday, and we want to hear what issues you want Macon-Bibb's 2020 candidates to address.

We went to the three locations on this week's list, and people were talking about issues ranging from education and crime to business and healthcare.

Our first stop was the Porter Ellis Community Center on Houston Road.

Mariah Carter was getting ready for a family and friends party at the center. The number one issue for her is crime.

"I think about me possibly staying in this community, raising kids here," Carter said. "So I would love to have and experience just a safe environment." 

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She says it’s got to be a community effort to find a solution. 

"Economics is the root of everything," Carter said. "If we’re able to get our communities back up and running, we’re able to have better education, our people are educated, we experience less violence."

Next door at Houston Road Park, Raechel Hanke spent Sunday enjoying the sunshine with her daughter. The top issue for her is healthcare.

"My husband recently had a brain injury, so we’ve been so consumed trying to find the help we need financially, because he’s not walking or talking," Hanke said. 

She says it’s been months of getting insurance and resources in place, and it’s taken a burden on her family.

"There’s a way for us to connect better with people that can help. Maybe a clearer way of communication," Hanke said.  

Over off of Mercer University Drive, kids were playing hoops outside the Frank Johnson Community Center.

Connell Gordon says there’s too much violence among the youth. 

"We need someone that can bring the teenagers together, especially the younger black men. Stop the killing. Stop the violence," Gordon said. 

He says the solutions are education and jobs. 

"A lot of black men don’t have jobs, they don’t have opportunities. If we can find the opportunities, we can find the schools, and get the education, I think it would be an advantage to black men and the community," Gordon said. 

Gordon says they all need more things going on for the youth in this community. 

Over in the north Macon, Solomon and Shannon Sands say one of the biggest issues for them is mental health. 

"It’s just identifying with it. Once people tell you they have mental health issues, don’t take it lightly. It’s not something to be playing with. It should be taken very seriously," Solomon said. 

For all 2020 election coverage for Macon-Bibb, click here.

Both say Macon needs to have more mental health resources, particularly for African-American communities 

"In the African-American community, specifically mental health is just frowned upon. I don’t know why," Solomon said. 

These are just some of the issues people are talking about. We still want to hear from you. 

Here's where we'll be this Tuesday:

  • 8 – 10 a.m. at Porter Ellis Community Center, 5987 Houston Road
  • 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Frank Johnson Community Center, 2227 Mercer University Drive
  • 4:30 – 7 p.m. in the Lofts at Bass clubhouse, 5437 Bowman Road

If you can't make it out, you can still fill out the survey online here.

RELATED: Listening Lab: How you can help set the agenda for the 2020 Macon-Bibb elections

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