Presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke hosts town hall in Flint

FLINT (WJRT) (07/24/2019) - Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke hosted a town hall meeting in Flint on Wednesday to discuss how he would handle a variety of issues if elected.

Public health and safety are chief among his concerns.

"This is a crisis in our country right now. And our administration will spend whatever it takes to make sure that we meet so that we can guarantee the public health of this country," the former Texas congressman said.

For nearly two hours, O'Rourke spoke about his plans for America. He wants to set aside a large chunk of funding to improve education.

"Under our administration, we will set up a $500 billion permanent education fund for equality, equity and excellence in public education," O'Rourke said.

He is calling for a universal health care plan to cover everyone in the United States. He also wants to scale back criminal prosecutions of immigrants seeking refuge and asylum at the borders.

Claire McClinton left the town hall meeting disappointed that Flint's issues didn't come up more. She wished the city's challenges were a bigger part of the discussion Wednesday.

"We got all of these candidates and I appreciate wanting to hear from us about our issues. So I feel glad we had the opportunity to share with him about the health challenges," McClinton said.

McClinton and Flint resident Laura MacIntyre gave O'Rourke a reminder of just how long the people of Flint have working to recover from the water emergency.

"The one that we gave him was about it being five years too long because absolutely nothing has been done to remedy the Flint water crisis," MacIntyre said.

O'Rourke did address the issue with the media afterwards.

"I know we have some challenges here. I know that we can meet them and I know that the people of Flint have the solutions, they just need to be met halfway by the federal government," O'Rourke said.

He also talked about a lot good things happening in Flint as well. There are more companies investing in city, bringing innovation and more small businesses.