After going most of this year without any representation on city council, a Des Moines neighborhood association is making its voice heard in city politics.

Monday night the Lower Beaver Neighborhood Association (LBNA) in Des Moines’s first ward held the first of three forums for city government candidates.

Mayoral candidates spoke to an audience at the Debra Wesleyan Church on Lower Beaver Avenue and then faced a long list of questions from the audience.

The association president told WHO 13 their main concerns include the growing number of homeless people in the area, the lack of representation during Indira Sheumaker’s term on city council, and the slow pace of redevelopment along the Douglas Avenue corridor.

“It is the only commercial corridor that we have,” said LBNA President Jeremy Geerdes. “There is only a handful of businesses that are not directly on the Douglas Avenue corridor, and as long as the area there is suffering, it’s difficult for our neighbors to find goods and services that they need.”

Connie Boesen and Josh Mandelbaum were the only mayoral candidates to attend the forum. Denver Foote also skipped last week’s forum held by Iowa CCI. Newcomer Chris W. Von Arx also was a no-show.

Next week, the LBNA will hold a forum for Des Moines school board candidates.