Voters will decide who will become the next mayor on Election Day Nov. 2.By Pam Surano

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The November election is just three weeks away, and the two mainstream candidates for mayor of Pittsburgh tackled some crucial issues in a debate.

Brookline Today and the Highland Park Community Council hosted the debate Monday at the Thunderbird Cafe and Music Hall. The debate between the two mainstream candidates, military veteran and retired police officer Tony Moreno and state Representative Ed Gainey, did have some middle ground.

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The two candidates tackled some big issues, including flooding, economic opportunities for Black and brown residents, diversifying neighborhoods and making them affordable, as well as the future leadership of Pittsburgh Public Schools.

The two candidates both seemed to agree on one fundamental area. They want to help the underserved, hurting and blighted neighborhoods in the city and the people who live there. But the two candidates have different views on how they would approach the current pandemic eviction moratorium.

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“We can’t just push people out. We’re losing people in our legacy neighborhoods. They’re running people out of Homewood. They’re running people out of Beltzhoover. They’re running people out of the North Side,” Moreno said.

“We don’t want to create more trauma,” Gainey said. “We want to reduce trauma, and the way that you reduce trauma is through a public health lens that says we extend the moratorium and ensure that we are laser-focused on building more affordable housing.”

Moreno did take issue with Rep. Gainey’s position on the Urban Redevelopment Authority, saying if he wanted to make change and help create adorable housing it would have been done already. Moreno called the URA a “gigantic criminal, money laundering machine”.

Representative Gainey said to create neighborhood stabilization and economic opportunities, the city and the URA must continue to develop its Housing Opportunity Fund and the Pittsburgh Land Bank to make this possible.

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Democratic Mayor Bill Peduto took office in 2014. Voters will decide who will become the next mayor on Election Day Nov. 2.