Delray Beach mayoral candidates set to square off in debate

Candidates to address impact of structural racism
Posted at 2:52 PM, Jan 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-11 17:50:49-05

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Two candidates for Delray Beach mayor will square off in a debate Monday night.

A group of community alliances are hosting the forum live on Facebook.

The Delray Beach election is three months away, and community members want to know about the next mayor's agenda.

Newcomer Tracey Caruso is running against current Mayor Shelly Petrolia.

The Set Neighborhood Alliance is hosting the first debate between the two candidates.

"The Set is 1,000 acres that is a historic black community in Delray Beach," said Reginald Cox with The Set Alliance.

Reginald Cox,
Reginald Cox with The Set Neighborhood Alliance in Delray Beach is making sure the neighborhood is a focus for the next mayor.

Cox said this candidate forum is community-driven, and they will focus on issues like structural racism and impacts on working-class families.

"Also, we want to look at the CRA's approach to redevelopment that often leads to gentrification," Cox said.

Tennille Decoste said she plans to watch Monday's debate and feels The Set is often forgotten in regard to city plans.

"It is important that these two candidates come forth and be honest and transparent," Decoste said.

She hopes to hear more about development projects within The Set, located between Swinton Avenue and Interstate 95.

Tennille Decoste, Delray Beach resident
Tennille Decoste said she feels The Set area of Delray Beach is often forgotten about when leaders make plans for the city.

"You are setting the tone for what is going to come and who our future mayor is going to be," Decoste said.

Delray Beach has made local headlines for drama within the city after another city manager was fired last year, and issues with the water have been made public.

Cox said the debate will give the community the chance to focus on their neighborhood.

"Often, vulnerable populations like The Set get left behind within the larger scheme of Delray," Cox said.