James Bailey (I), running for Portsmouth City Council
1. Why are you running for office?
I am a proud resident of Portsmouth by choice; I’m inspired by the diversity of our communities. However, it’s important to remember to build a city where everyone is included. My background in civil rights advocacy has taught me that we all do best when we remove barriers to success. There are many that do not have a voice in Portsmouth.
2. Why should people vote for you?
I have advocated for the poor and disenfranchised since arriving in Virginia in 1981 and I want to continue being the voice of the unheard. While my local success and work with the “Ban The Box” Movement, “Ex-Felon Job Fair”, Virginia CURE, Missing Voter Project, Dr. Martin Luther King Memorial Fund Raiser, Virginia Organizing, Lupus Foundation of America, Protest Against Police Shootings of Unarmed Citizens in Hampton Roads, Power to End Stroke, Restoration of Ex-Felons Voting Rights, Veterans For Peace and Mentor-ship with Seton Youth Shelters have been fruitful, the success of those efforts were only accomplished by bringing together like minded individuals united in a common vision for equality.
3. What’s your favorite thing about the area you want to represent?
I grew up in a city (New Orleans) like Portsmouth. Just when everyone counted New Orleans out we opened riverboat casinos and began the essence festival which made the city a viable attraction for tourism and boosted our economy.
4. What is the biggest problem your area is facing, how will you fix it?
Lack of opportunity being perceived as racial division.
While disparities in the public schools, juvenile justice system, homelessness, gang proliferation, criminal justice system, employment discrimination, racial profiling, voting rights restoration, affordable housing, quality jobs, mental health and medical healthcare issues historically have placed a disproportionate burden on black people living in Portsmouth – many of these problems are not exclusively a ‘black issue’. These concerns are problematic for citizens of all colors and backgrounds.
We must work to empower all our citizens in attaining economic self-sufficiency through job training, job fairs, home ownership programs, and entrepreneurship training. By creating self-empowerment within the community and building an economic base through the local business community and attracting new business to our city amidst the tunnel toll distraction. The introduction of River Boat Casinos is one undertaking that could revive our sluggish economy by expanding our tax base.
5. Describe Donald Trump in max 3 words?
Bad for America.
6. Describe Hillary Clinton in max 3 words?
First Female President.
7. What do you do for a living? Why do you do it?
I pay my bills by working at Quality Assurance for a private ship repair company because they pay a comparable wage for my skill set.
8. You’re going to be marooned on a tropical island for a week, you can only bring 1 thing – what is it?
A Wilson Volley Ball.
9. What do you think of Colin Kaepernick?
He is a brave young man that has taken a stand for an injustice that our country wishes to ignore and pretend it doesn’t exist.
10. Would you vote to fund light rail expansion in your area?
11. Will you respect the outcome of the election?
12. Favorite TV Show?