Increase Government Transparency

As a city council member, I will update my constituents regularly via social media. Not all do this, more is needed.

 

Flooding

Over the years Virginia Beach City Council diverted some tax dollars away from scheduled flooding maintenance projects, and over to other things. Some diversions were improving roads in high traffic areas.  But – this topic is personal; I lost a vehicle to flooding during Matthew. The amount of stress for towing and attempts at repair, and a new car, was outrageous. As a member of city council. I will use VB flooding funds for flooding, not other projects. Additionally, I will reach out to Richmond and DC for much deserved flooding grants to take the pressure off the beach.

City Spending Reform

 Virginia Beach City council must prioritize the needs of the community, not the needs of political donors for new sports buildings or new town halls. I’m perfect for this as I do not have donations from developers, which would conflict with my interests. I’ll aim to reform spending so city managers will not have to ask for tax and fee hikes each year. 

 

Reduce Municipal

I want government to do no harm. In that vein government must treat citizens fairly. Fees for municipal services and violations fall more heavily on poorer citizens. Municipal violations can really be a bother to the average citizen when fees increase due to untimely payments.  In addition, the city has a track record of not listening to citizens when they appeal improper city charges. As a councilman, I will fight to alleviate that. I want government to do no harm. In that vein government must treat citizens fairly. 

 

Expand Minority Representation

Virginia Beach is 47% non-white. However, the city set a minimum goal of 12% minority representation for city business contracts. It often goes under the goal.  Virginia Beach City commissions, boards and Merchants should be a direct reflection of the diversity of our beautiful community.  As a member of city council, I will be an advocate for an equity capital drive, specifically to boost minority business in the city. 

 

Police Accountability

Virginia Beach holds government employees like teachers and waste management employees accountable for wrongdoing. I want to strengthen accountability for our law enforcement city employees. I will support a strong Citizens Review Board with subpoena powers.  I’ll work with our police department to eliminate overly punitive policing such as civil asset forfeiture.  

The department can effort to reduce total traffic stops on lesser issues like inspection or tag stickers. I will fight for that.  In 2020 I’ve watched police overreaction to Republican protests on mask restrictions. I’ve seen severe overreaction to progressive based social justice protests. Our department can treat protests with equity and respect instead of derision, I want all that and more.

 

Voting Reform

Virginia Beach needs to reform how it votes on council elections. There are seven  districts, but all are decided on a city-wide At Large system. All citizens simultaneously vote for all city council seats, and this dilutes district representation. By default, it negatively hurts the voting power of minorities seeking representation. To make Virginia Beach’s democracy a representative one, make the districts directly elected – keep At-Large seats and the Mayor elected At-Large. The current Rose Hall Councilperson had his chance for this reform, and he voted against it.