AUSTIN (KXAN) — With early voting underway in the District 4 Austin City Council special election, some key issues have emerged in the race that are familiar to all Austin residents.

Seven candidates are vying to fill the seat held by Greg Casar who is running for Congress. At a forum attended by five of those candidates last week, the city’s homeless dilemma, housing affordability, and crime took center stage.

For perspective on District 4 and its place in Austin’s political puzzle, KXAN looked to community advocacy coalition Go Austin/¡Vamos! Austin, or GAVA. The group advocates for residents living in the heart of the district.

“District 4 has a lot of our population that makes this city go round,” said GAVA Executive Director Carmen Llanes Pulido, “It’s our working class, our service industry, our hardest working communities, and in many cases, [they are] facing some of the greatest inequities.”

Llanes Pulido said GAVA has ties to several of the candidates and even employs of them, Monica Guzmán. She said whoever wins the race will need a strong connection to the community, “and the ability to connect networks and institutions and people to find solutions [to the district’s issues.]”

Speaking with KXAN, Casar echoed that sentiment.

“What unites the district is that it is a place of everyday families that so often get sometimes get left behind by politics as usual,” Casar said. “I encourage people to go and vote, and go and vote for somebody that you think is going to both fight and deliver.”

Early voting lasts until January 21. Election day is Tuesday, January 25.