NEWARK - As the presidential race moves along, some activists want issues facing the nation’s cities to be a part of the debate.

Newark resident Charles Colbert has a message for the 2016 candidates: Make cities more affordable to live.

“I think the cities are way too expensive,” Colbert adds.

Urban activists from around the United States are meeting in Newark over the weekend for a conference organized by Newark Mayor Ras Baraka. The goal of the conference is to come up with ideas to improve cities like Newark as they battle unemployment, crime and poverty.

“If [politicians] really want to help, go to the people that you want to help and ask them how,” says resident Divad Sanders

Lords of the Underground hip-hop artist and Newark resident Dupre Kelly says that the answer to the problems isn’t only political.

“Some people might not be able to express themselves through an elected official or politician,” Kelly says. “But somebody might be able to touch somebody and communicate with somebody through the arts."

The group will come up with a list of recommendations and then send them to the presidential candidates.