Increase Government Transparency
The local models for representative transparency are city councilors Jessica Abbott and John Moss. I’ll follow their pattern of bringing city work straight to the constituents via social media.
Virginia Beach City Council has spent years diverting tax dollars away flooding maintenance to projects like improving Witchduck road. Well, my aim is to stop the diversion. Use VB flooding funds for (gasp) flooding. As a council person I will also seek more flooding grants from Richmond and DC to take the pressure off the beach.
City Spending Reform
City spending reform requires council members that don’t wish to spend tax dollars on sports buildings, or town halls at Town Center. It requires council members who don’t want to switch funding away from flooding. Reform spending and city managers won’t have to ask for tax and fee hikes each year.
Reduce Municipal Fees and Violations
Fees for municipal services and violations fall more heavily on poorer citizens. I want government to do no harm. In that vein government must treat citizens fairly. 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.
Expand Minority Representation
Virginia Beach set a goal of at least 10% minority representation in city contracts. 10%, that is, in a city where minorities are at least 30% of the population. Such representation is below 7%. A more aggressive approach is needed. Local bureaucracies like the VBDA and the Planning commission need diversity. We need to award minority business more significant amounts of city contracts.
I aim to make sure individual police officers and entire police departments are held responsible for their actions, just as private citizens and businesses are. The recent decision on the India Kager case, where some officers were held negligent in her shooting death at a Virginia Beach 7-11, is an example. I’ll include civil asset forfeiture reform too, as it shouldn’t be possible for law enforcement to seize money and property from individuals. Virginia Beach police receives millions of seized dollars from citizens, amounting to nothing short of stealing without legal recourse.
Virginia Beach needs to reform how it votes for city elections. It’s currently an At Large system where all citizens simultaneously vote for all city council seats. This dilutes district representation, and it helps reinforce a city council that isn’t diverse. To make Virginia Beach’s democracy a representative one, go to strict district voting.