Monthly Archives: June 2013

PHAR Internship 2013 !!!

Now recruiting for the

PHAR Internship Program!

 Do you care about your community? Want to learn how to make a difference?

  • Develop your leadership skills, knowledge and involvement
  • Earn 11.50/hour stipend.
  • Commit to work up to 10 hours a week.
  • Program lasts for 6 months, starting in about 3-6 weeks.
  • Public Housing and Section 8 Residents can apply

Call PHAR at (434) 984-3255 to schedule an interview,

OR see print the application InternApplication2013 and bring or mail to:

PHAR Internship
1000 Preston Ave, Suite C
Charlottesville, Va 22902

Here’s the application-InternApplication2013

Posted in Uncategorized.

Questionnaire for City Council Candidates

PHAR Questionnaire for City Council Candidates!
We have received the following responses to our questionnaire, listed in the order in which they were received, more candidate answers posted when they arrive-

Melvin Grady 5/31 11:29 pm
1) As a City Councilor, what will you do to improve the responsiveness of the Housing Authority to residents, in terms of eviction prevention, maintenance, customer service, and the many other serious issues that residents have brought to CRHA’s attention?

As a City Councilor, I would  insure that the HA is equipped with members that understand the rules, regulations, and the respect that is stated and implied in the framework of the CRHA’s current parameters.

2) How well do you think the current CRHA administration (staff and Board) are handling the challenges facing the Housing Authority?  Do you believe we need a change in leadership (or at least a change in course) at CRHA or do you believe things are heading in the right direction under the current leadership?

The current CRHA administration does not seem “connected” with the challenges facing the HA, according to current members of the HA.  Either a change in leadership, or a change in direction, needs to occur at CHRA immediately.

3) More and more cities are allowing residents of public housing to choose who will represent them on their Housing Authority Boards by way of direct elections for resident commissioners.  If such a proposal were to come before Charlottesville City Council, would you be inclined to support it?  Why or why not?

I support direct elections for resident commissioners from public housing residents alongside at-large seats.  I believe this would help include all parties involved in the current issues at hand.

4) Do you support the Residents’ Bill of Rights for Redevelopment and will you insist that CRHA honor each and every commitment in the Bill of Rights if and when it proceeds with redevelopment of public housing?

Yes and yes!  I will make sure that the pledge stated is adhered to with the backing of all legal and implied “powers” bestowed to me as a City Councilor.

5) Previous Councils have consistently supported PHAR’s organizing campaigns, policy suggestions, and funding. If you are elected, will you support PHAR’s mission and continue funding for PHAR and champion our cause with your colleagues?

I have, and continue now, to support PHAR.  As a citizen who has had family members live in Charlottesville public housing, I know that PHAR cares for the well-being of each and every resident in public housing.  Words sound nice, but action is better!  I am about action!

6) As a City Councilor, will you support the City’s Living Wage Policy (for both City employees and contracted employees) and urge major employers in the area, especially UVa and its contractors, to adopt similar policies, so that no one who works full-time in our community has to live in poverty?

This question is overstated and the results are long overdue.  A living wage should be a human right for everyone on this planet, especially in a “Number 1 city as Charlotteville.”  The opposite of a living wage is a non-living wage, in which too many our citizens live under today, and find themselves not self-sufficient.

7) Charlottesville has proclaimed itself a ‘City of Second Chances”. As a councilor what will you do to increase opportunities for successful re-entry of ex-offenders into our community and re-energize the city towards addressing the needs of ex-offenders in Charlottesville?

As an ex-offender myself, I can personally relate to the city giving me a second chance to be successful as a teacher in our public school system.  If the city had looked at my driving record as a end all to my career, I would not be able to promote my constant theme to my students to keep moving forward even after adversity.  Everyone needs second, third, even forth chances, to bring out the best in themselves for the good of others.

8) What are your thoughts or concerns about the Human Rights Commission? What would you like to see the commission work towards in terms of addressing institutional racism, and gender and racial discrimination on city boards and commissions?

I believe the HRC is needed to address any discriminatory practices that still exist in our city.  Charlottesville as a city, has been deeply rooted in discriminatory practices.  And if discriminatory practices, of any kind, still exist, they must be addressed.  Just as someone breaking the law must be addressed, so must discriminatory practices be addressed.  But the goal should always be education first, so that understanding and fairness can be reached, if possible.

9) What is the usefulness of the Strategic Investment Area? Do you think the Residents Bill of Rights for Redevelopment applies to the Strategic Investment Area? How do you feel about “de-concentration” of poverty strategies in Charlottesville, will this strategy dilute and disperse public housing communities in the area?

First, the Residents Bill of Rights for Redevelopment should definitely apply to the Strategic Investment Area.  Second, if residents are in favor, there should be no “de-concentration” of poverty in Charlottesville that will disperse established communities already in existence.

10) What will you do to increase employment opportunities for residents of public housing in Charlottesville? How do you plan to bolster the Section 3 program and increase employment for residents (as opposed to just providing training)? Do you have a broader jobs and anti-poverty approach that doesn’t rely solely on job training and small business support?

I would personally, with the help of City Council and the community as a whole, seek to attract large businesses to our community that has a need for skilled workers that doesn’t required BA degrees, and pays at least a living wage to support a family to live in Charlottesville.  Training is not enough if the job opportunities don’t exist.  Job training is definitely needed.  But the jobs must be available after the training.
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Kristin Szakos 5/29 11:35 pm

1) As a City Councilor, what will you do to improve the responsiveness of the Housing Authority to residents, in terms of eviction prevention, maintenance, customer service, and the many other serious issues that residents have brought to CRHA’s attention?

Maurice Jones and Aubrey Watts are working hard to open communications with CRHA staff and residents to work out long-term solutions both to the immediate issues and to systemic problems with CRHA that have persisted for many years.  I am keeping a close eye on this process, and have hope that it will help.  I have had several meetings with CRHA staff and board members, as well as residents, and hope they all will give this process a chance.  The problems at CRHA have been around for many years – and won’t go away without everyone working together to make it happen. There are folks who are eligible for public housing who are on the waiting list to get housing, so I don’t think it’s appropriate to have a moratorium on evictions, but we should make sure that eviction prevention and self-sufficiency programs are working as well as they can to prevent evictions. We have had fewer evictions this year than in years past largely because of these programs, but they can be better.  We need to insist that everyone be treated with respect, and that housing is of the highest quality possible.  The Housing Authority seems to have been in a chronic state of crisis for much of the past 15 years, at least, and I am committed to working with CRHA and residents to find lasting solutions.

2) How well do you think the current CRHA administration (staff and Board) are handling the challenges facing the Housing Authority?  Do you believe we need a change in leadership (or at least a change in course) at CRHA or do you believe things are heading in the right direction under the current leadership?

I absolutely think a change in course is appropriate and needed. The walls of anger and distrust that have built up on all sides make it difficult for any solution to work.  I hope that Mr Jones’s work and City Council support for those efforts will help us find a solution that makes residents feel (and be) heard and respected and have quality housing, staff feel competent and empowered to do their jobs, management to respond appropriately to problems and policies, and the board to implement fair and reasonable consistent policies.

3) More and more cities are allowing residents of public housing to choose who will represent them on their Housing Authority Boards by way of direct elections for resident commissioners.  If such a proposal were to come before Charlottesville City Council, would you be inclined to support it?  Why or why not?

I would support this if we could develop an election process that would involve and inform all Public Housing and Subsidized Housing residents.

4) Do you support the Residents’ Bill of Rights for Redevelopment and will you insist that CRHA honor each and every commitment in the Bill of Rights if and when it proceeds with redevelopment of public housing?

Yes.

5) Previous Councils have consistently supported PHAR’s organizing campaigns, policy suggestions, and funding. If you are elected, will you support PHAR’s mission and continue funding for PHAR and champion our cause with your colleagues?

I helped with some of the early organizing work for PHAR, and fought to increase resident membership on the Housing Authority from one to three.  I fully support PHAR’s mission and will continue to champion the cause of public housing residents and other low-income citizens of our community.

6) As a City Councilor, will you support the City’s Living Wage Policy (for both City employees and contracted employees) and urge major employers in the area, especially UVa and its contractors, to adopt similar policies, so that no one who works full-time in our community has to live in poverty?

Yes, absolutely, as I have done for many years. I introduced the living wage increase and index this year, along with language urging all employers in the region to do the same.  I have actively supported efforts at UVA push for a living wage there.

7) Charlottesville has proclaimed itself a “City of Second Chances”. As a councilor what will you do to increase opportunities for successful re-entry of ex-offenders into our community and re-energize the city towards addressing the needs of ex-offenders in Charlottesville?

I voted to make Charlottesville “A City of Second Chances”, and fully believe that is what every community should be.  As chair of the regional Jail Board, I see the cost to the community when folks are not able to find employment or housing after release.  As a human being, I see the emotional and economic cost to former prisoners and their families.

8) What are your thoughts or concerns about the Human Rights Commission? What would you like to see the commission work towards in terms of addressing institutional racism, and gender and racial discrimination on city boards and commissions?

I think the Human Rights Commission is something we have needed for a long time, and I’m proud to have been part of making it happen. It will help us tackle illegal discrimination, but also address and reduce disparities – things which may not be against the law, or even intentional, but have outcomes of inequity.  Our boards and commissions are a good example.  We continually bemoan the fact that very few minority or low-income residents apply for these positions, but we need to go further and figure out how the structure of some of our boards and the way we look for applicants may have an impact on the applicants who come forward.  I don’t believe the current Council is guilty of overt discrimination, but societal racial and economic barriers certainly have an impact on the process, and we need to address that.

9) What is the usefulness of the Strategic Investment Area? Do you think the Residents Bill of Rights for Redevelopment applies to the Strategic Investment Area? How do you feel about “de-concentration” of poverty strategies in Charlottesville, will this strategy dilute and disperse public housing communities in the area?

It’s very helpful to look at regions of the city in a strategic way, rather than one project at a time.  The Bill of Rights is applicable when part of that strategy involves the redevelopment of public housing.

I know that the idea of “de-concentrating poverty” brings worries that neighborhoods will be broken up, and we need to pay attention to the relationships and benefits of neighborhoods that exist now, particularly high-poverty neighborhoods.  But we can’t ignore the fact that when people – especially kids – live in neighborhoods where more than a quarter of the people live in poverty, it’s harder for them to be successful in school or in work, and they tend to be even less prosperous than their parents.  Having mixed neighborhoods is good for everyone, but we need to make sure that the positives of existing neighborhoods are preserved.

10) What will you do to increase employment opportunities for residents of public housing in Charlottesville? How do you plan to bolster the Section 3 program and increase employment for residents (as opposed to just providing training)? Do you have a broader jobs and anti-poverty approach that doesn’t rely solely on job training and small business support?

I believe we need a wide range of programs and initiatives to eliminate generational poverty in Charlottesville.  Job training and small business support are important.  So are building opportunities and building the capacity of residents to seize those opportunities.  So is increasing affordable housing.  So is instituting the Human Rights Commission.  So is fighting for the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and Medicaid Expansion.  So is dialogue and community education.  So is helping folks with criminal records re-enter society in a positive way.  So is paying attention to the role that trauma plays in many families and helping members recover.  We need to build one another up in these various efforts – not tear one another down.  They are all needed. I strongly support City of Promise as one model that tries to create a cradle-through-career network of supports to help children do well and achieve their promise.  I’ve worked hard to bring together lots of stakeholders, including parents and children, to make this happen, and am committed to seeing it grow to include all children in Charlottesville. Section 3 is an exciting initiative that I believe not only prepares residents for work but prepares employers to understand the benefits of hiring them, and I’ll continue to support it.
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Adam Lees 6/1 5:00 pm

1) As a City Councilor, what will you do to improve the responsiveness of the Housing Authority to residents, in terms of eviction prevention, maintenance, customer service, and the many other serious issues that residents have brought to CRHA’s attention?

I support two distinct actions. First, I would reorganize the CRHA Board so that residents have equal representation as citizen-at-large members with the appointed City Councilor serving as a tie-breaking vote if necessary. Second, I would investigate implementing a system similar to SpeakUpUVA to address these issues. SpeakUpUVA allows any student to indicate issues and suggest solutions or new programs to Student Council. These posts mandate response and allow both student councilors and University staff to respond as appropriate to an issue (analogously, these would be CRHA commissioners and CRHA staff for the CRHA). This would not only provide a tangible means of addressing residents’ concerns, but also clear documentation of such concerns and whether or not they were addressed and the rationale, if any.

2) How well do you think the current CRHA administration (staff and Board) are handling the challenges facing the Housing Authority?  Do you believe we need a change in leadership (or at least a change in course) at CRHA or do you believe things are heading in the right direction under the current leadership?

As the HUD report demonstrates, the CRHA is both failing to handle the challenges well and to handle management well. A rapid turnover in leadership, though, has contributed to this; thus, I would suggest a change of course and reform of the board, including replacements of current non-resident commissioners, and its practices rather than another executive leadership shuffle.

3) More and more cities are allowing residents of public housing to choose who will represent them on their Housing Authority Boards by way of direct elections for resident commissioners.  If such a proposal were to come before Charlottesville City Council, would you be inclined to support it?  Why or why not?

I would certainly like more information on this subject, namely how the process works in other cities and how their CRHA analogs function as well as any costs associated with elections. At face value, though, I see no reason to oppose it and would endorse it if it could build mutual trust between the City and public housing residents.

4) Do you support the Residents’ Bill of Rights for Redevelopment and will you insist that CRHA honor each and every commitment in the Bill of Rights if and when it proceeds with redevelopment of public housing?

Yes. Considering that both the CRHA Board of Commissioners and City Council approved the Bill of Rights in 2008, I believe it has the force of a contract. Moreover, I would support Council and PHAR meeting regularly to discuss projects as they relate to the Bill to ensure both mutual understanding and open communication.

5) Previous Councils have consistently supported PHAR’s organizing campaigns, policy suggestions, and funding. If you are elected, will you support PHAR’s mission and continue funding for PHAR and champion our cause with your colleagues?

Yes. Though I cannot promise unconditional support for every single action, I can and do promise to reach out, listen closely, and work hard to assure positive actions are taken and policies implemented to assure dignity and opportunity for public housing residents.

6) As a City Councilor, will you support the City’s Living Wage Policy (for both City employees and contracted employees) and urge major employers in the area, especially UVa and its contractors, to adopt similar policies, so that no one who works full-time in our community has to live in poverty?

The City has had a living wage since (at least) 2001 and increased it last July. I see no reason it should change. By the same token, no formula exists for determining the living wage and I could find no study to help determine the impact of that policy, particularly on the alleviation of poverty. Without such information, any effort to urge expansion of a living wage is unlikely to succeed. When on Student Council, where unlike any of the other candidates I saw the issue first-hand, I did not support a resolution to support Living Wage at UVA because they could not provide critical information like those I noted, did not seem to appreciate the immense financial challenges facing the University (which have resulted in at-times uncomfortable internal restructurings and the accreditation-threatening Unpleasantness of last summer), and did not take into account the numerous University-funded programs to provide not only decent wages, but also career opportunities, job training, and benefits such as healthcare to workers and their families in our community. I am not opposed in principle to a living wage, but I will not endorse or oppose a policy without having more information.

7) Charlottesville has proclaimed itself a ‘City of Second Chances”. As a councilor what will you do to increase opportunities for successful re-entry of ex-offenders into our community and re-energize the city towards addressing the needs of ex-offenders in Charlottesville?

I would work with the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office to avoid pursuing felony charges when a lesser charge would be possible and assisting ex-offenders in recovering their full civil rights and, when possible, expunging their records. I would also emphasize programs to prepare current prisoners for accessing the job market and re-entry into society as well as supporting the work of the Re-Entry Action Team in identifying and addressing the needs of ex-offenders.

8) What are your thoughts or concerns about the Human Rights Commission? What would you like to see the commission work towards in terms of addressing institutional racism, and gender and racial discrimination on city boards and commissions?

My main concern with the Commission is that it will not be effectual or, worse, it could attempt to impose a de facto discriminatory (and illegal) quota system on appointments to city boards and commissions. I would like to see the Commission continue the Dialogue on Race’s work and make recommendations to Council to address institutional racism and in identifying suitable candidates from underrepresented demographics to serve on the city’s boards and commissions.

9) What is the usefulness of the Strategic Investment Area? Do you think the Residents Bill of Rights for Redevelopment applies to the Strategic Investment Area? How do you feel about “de-concentration” of poverty strategies in Charlottesville, will this strategy dilute and disperse public housing communities in the area?

The usefulness, beyond guiding economic investment and development, comes from a wholistic view of planning and development that takes into account multiple features of the area from transit infrastructure to community spaces. As the City makes explicit on its website about the SIA, the Bill of Rights applies to the SIA as much as the rest of the city. No exceptions. To the last question, as I’ve stated before, the only de-concentration of poverty I want to see comes from lifting citizens of Charlottesville out of poverty into decent jobs, not from dispersing them to fix the numbers. Having a community and social support system is as vital to human beings as food, clothing, and shelter. If development in the SIA brought public housing communities closer to non-public housing communities, then that would be an opportunity to build bridges between different groups and chip away at the distance that fuels the kinds of discrimination that PHAR and the City oppose rather than a threat to the identity of public housing communities.

10) What will you do to increase employment opportunities for residents of public housing in Charlottesville? How do you plan to bolster the Section 3 program and increase employment for residents (as opposed to just providing training)? Do you have a broader jobs and anti-poverty approach that doesn’t rely solely on job training and small business support?

I would encourage the CRHA specifically and the City more broadly, when positions become available, to reach out to and employ public housing residents first. In terms of Section 3 specifically, I would work to improve the customer service aspect so that applicants to the program hear back swiftly or know when they can expect to hear back. I would like to strengthen this program by working with UVA, initially and other employers later, to target public housing residents for placement in programs already offered that include employment. My broader jobs/pro-opportunity approach centers on coordinated education, auxiliary service provision (such as childcare and improved public transit), and on-the-job experience – focusing initially on the healthcare industry – to take participants from unemployed or underemployed to having an education with no debt and a job with which they can sustain a family. Though this program is focused particularly on young adults who are unemployed at three-times the city-wide rate, anyone can participate. The City has lent its support to such a First Rung Collaborative devised by IMPACT, an interfaith civic group, and I intend to work my utmost to make it succeed and grow.
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Wes Bellamy 6/3 5:30 pm

1) As a City Councilor, what will you do to improve the responsiveness of the Housing Authority to residents, in terms of eviction prevention, maintenance, customer service, and the many other serious issues that residents have brought to CRHA’s attention?

I would actually like to make a move for Council to take over the CRHA Board and revamp a few things. I feel that the issues that the residents have are indeed serious and more attention needs to be placed on these issues. However, I am also more than aware that it takes both sides to cooperate in order everyone in Low Income Housing to be successful. This leadership needs to come from us. We show this leadership by re-appointments, working with HUD, and working with the residents.

2) How well do you think the current CRHA administration (staff and Board) are handling the challenges facing the Housing Authority?  Do you believe we need a change in leadership (or at least a change in course) at CRHA or do you believe things are heading in the right direction under the current leadership?

I feel that leadership needs to come from Council. I feel that the CRHA Board could use a little improvement, however, as aforementioned in my previous response, both sides need to be willing to work together in order for the citizens to win.

3) More and more cities are allowing residents of public housing to choose who will represent them on their Housing Authority Boards by way of direct elections for resident commissioners.  If such a proposal were to come before Charlottesville City Council, would you be inclined to support it?  Why or why not?

No one can speak better for the people than the people themselves. I would completely support a direct election for resident commissioners. Just as the people elect City Council members, it is fair for the residents to represent their representation on the CRHA Board.

4) Do you support the Residents’ Bill of Rights for Redevelopment and will you insist that CRHA honor each and every commitment in the Bill of Rights if and when it proceeds with redevelopment of public housing?

Very simple, yes, as long as it is fair to both sides. We must be willing to work together.

5) Previous Councils have consistently supported PHAR’s organizing campaigns, policy suggestions, and funding. If you are elected, will you support PHAR’s mission and continue funding for PHAR and champion our cause with your colleagues?

Once again, very simple, Yes.

6) As a City Councilor, will you support the City’s Living Wage Policy (for both City employees and contracted employees) and urge major employers in the area, especially UVA and its contractors, to adopt similar policies, so that no one who works full-time in our community has to live in poverty?

Yes, the city will not be able to reach its full potential until everyone has the same opportunities afforded to them.

7) Charlottesville has proclaimed itself a ‘City of Second Chances”. As a councilor what will you do to increase opportunities for successful re-entry of ex-offenders into our community and re-energize the city towards addressing the needs of ex-offenders in Charlottesville?

One of the things that I am very interested in looking into is the removing of the “Do You Have A Felony?” question from all applications within the city. It detracts many people from applying to jobs. Obviously, I would not like to see situations where people who may be “Sex Offenders” working with children, however, for some people who may have a felony from 15+ years prior to today for infractions in which they have already paid their debt to society, still punishing them by not hiring them due to their past is not fair in any shape, form, or fashion.

8) What are your thoughts or concerns about the Human Rights Commission? What would you like to see the commission work towards in terms of addressing institutional racism, and gender and racial discrimination on city boards and commissions?

I am firm believer in having a mechanism in place to ensure that people are being treated fairly. However, we need to make sure that it is going to be done right. We have many issues in Charlottesville that need to be addressed, thus, we need to make sure that we are addressing all issues in the proper manner.

9) What is the usefulness of the Strategic Investment Area? Do you think the Residents Bill of Rights for Redevelopment applies to the Strategic Investment Area? How do you feel about “de-concentration” of poverty strategies in Charlottesville, will this strategy dilute and disperse public housing communities in the area?

I believe that the SIA can be useful if we as a community take advantage of the opportunities that it may present. We must all work together to ensure that we are all being afforded the same opportunities and furthermore that we are putting forth our best effort to be successful. I have never been, nor will I ever be a fan of de-concentration of our communities in the city. As an individual who grew up in public housing, I am well aware of how important it is to preserve “the neighborhood.” By the same token, I don’t think that SIA will dilute the public housing community. When I was 9, the housing development in which I grew up in was tore down, and we were moved to a “mixed income” affordable housing unit neighborhood. It actually turned out to be a good thing in retrospect, for it allowed me to see people who I never would have come in contact with in my neighborhood before. I recently took a trip to Greenville, SC and saw their Affordable housing models and I was blown away. I think this is what we need here in Charlottesville; however, we must remain fair to all.

10) What will you do to increase employment opportunities for residents of public housing in Charlottesville? How do you plan to bolster the Section 3 program and increase employment for residents (as opposed to just providing training)? Do you have a broader jobs and anti-poverty approach that doesn’t rely solely on job training and small business support?

I recently just finished working with Kathy Galvin and several PHAR Members to bring free GED Class training to everyone in low income housing sites. I think this is the first step, getting people prepared. After which, we must attract jobs, but I would actually like to work with the employers that we have here in the area to get an immediate jump on this situation. Please see my attached power point presentation on Economic Development to see my plan for job creation.
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Bob Fenwick 6/4 3:13 pm

1)      As a City Councilor, what will you do to improve the responsiveness of the Housing Authority to residents, in terms of eviction prevention, maintenance, customer service, and the many other serious issues that residents have brought to CRHA’s attention?

I would attend Housing Authority/Phar meetings until I understood where the conflict was coming from and then move to stop it.

2)      How well do you think the current CRHA administration (staff and Board) are handling the challenges facing the Housing Authority?  Do you believe we need a change in leadership (or at least a change in course) at CRHA or do you believe things are heading in the right direction under the current leadership?

Things are NOT heading in the right direction.  We are all neighbors and acquaintances and can come to a mutually agreeable solution to any challenges facing us.  Sometimes attention to the problem can do this, sometimes it takes a change in the negotiators.

3)      More and more cities are allowing residents of public housing to choose who will represent them on their Housing Authority Boards by way of direct elections for resident commissioners.  If such a proposal were to come before Charlottesville City Council, would you be inclined to support it?  Why or why not?

4) Do you support the Residents’ Bill of Rights for Redevelopment and will you insist that CRHA honor each and every commitment in the Bill of Rights if and when it proceeds with redevelopment of public housing?

Yes, I support the BofR and would be a strong advocate for treating citizens with respect and decency.

5) Previous Councils have consistently supported PHAR’s organizing campaigns, policy suggestions, and funding. If you are elected, will you support PHAR’s mission and continue funding for PHAR and champion our cause with your colleagues?

Absolutely!

6) As a City Councilor, will you support the City’s Living Wage Policy (for both City employees and contracted employees) and urge major employers in the area, especially UVa and its contractors, to adopt similar policies, so that no one who works full-time in our community has to live in poverty?

Absolutely!

7) Charlottesville has proclaimed itself a ‘City of Second Chances”. As a councilor what will you do to increase opportunities for successful re-entry of ex-offenders into our community and re-energize the city towards addressing the needs of ex-offenders in Charlottesville?

I will continue my work with Believers and Achievers to support and encourage ex-offenders to return as productive members of our community.  For me, it’s not just the talk that’s important, it’s the action that follows.

8) What are your thoughts or concerns about the Human Rights Commission? What would you like to see the commission work towards in terms of addressing institutional racism, and gender and racial discrimination on city boards and commissions?

I strongly support the HRC and will work hard to ensure it’s success.

9) What is the usefulness of the Strategic Investment Area? Do you think the Residents Bill of Rights for Redevelopment applies to the Strategic Investment Area? How do you feel about gde-concentrationh of poverty strategies in Charlottesville, will this strategy dilute and disperse public housing communities in the area?

The residents’ BofR applies to anything they do.  The ‘strategies’ for poverty are secondary to the efforts of the people involved.  When the system fails it’s because of the participants, not the strategy.  Fair, just and equal treatment is not a strategy.  It is a right.

10) What will you do to increase employment opportunities for residents of public housing in Charlottesville? How do you plan to bolster the Section 3 program and increase employment for residents (as opposed to just providing training)? Do you have a broader jobs and anti-poverty approach that doesnft rely solely on job training and small business support?

I would try and convince community leaders that more jobs come from more infrastructure maintenance.  The huge jobs in town are mostly done by out of town contractors and very little of the money stays in our community.  Infrastructure maintenance would keep almost all of the money in our community and would provide entry level and skill jobs to a greater degree than new projects.  I can train a man or woman how to do anything in construction and I can take a new worker with no experience right off the street and within a year make him or her a skilled worker with good pay.
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Posted in Uncategorized.