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Sanford school, Delaware State University and McAllister Academy, Mortuary School
Congo Funeral Home
Over 15 years ago, I created a program called Student of The Week for students who have done well or simply improved in school. I would personally pick up them and 6 of their friends, take them to breakfast and drop them off at school in a limousine. I would then interview the child and their family on a local TV program and present them with an award. I have rewarded over 1000 children. For the past 30 years my family and I have hosted a senior cookout every labor day. We feed and entertain over 300 seniors living in Wilmington's senior high rises . I have sponsored numerous community days and book bag giveaways. I have mentored children in every school in my District. I began a shuttle service for seniors that took them to the grocery store. I've sponsored food drives that have provided food for over 10 thousand people in Wilmington. I've also sponsored community clean ups for every area/ side of Wilmington. I've stood at bus stops to help when children were fighting before school
I'm the proud father of Max, Morgan. Milan, Maison , Mariah and Mello ( our giant schnauzer). I want every Wilmingtoninan and the businesses here to WIN. I know this is possible because we're a small city and have the resources. Everyone in Wilmington is connected. We must begin to foster those relationships. Government alone can't do this. We need the community's support well after the election. Individuals who run and are not elected must continue to be involved. We often talk about police reform, school reform and prison reform. I believe we must also have political reform. No more business as usual. It hasn't worked for everyone. We must continue to develop our infrastructure and begin to sincerely develop our neighborhoods and most importantly, our people.
My main reason for running for President is I want to help fix how City Council is viewed internally and externally. The last four years have been very frustrating as a Councilmember and someone who loves this City. The frustration began almost immediately. When presented with the opportunity to do what no other Council President has done in recent memory, which would be to include every Councilmember in deciding how Council will function, our current President chose not to. Over the next four years this decision began to frustrate the majority of Councilmembers because we weren't given the opportunity to simply participate in how we function as a team. I want to allow all Councilmembers to participate 100%. The Charter of Wilmington states this is how it was meant to be done. When we correct our internal struggles, Wilmington will see a new , cohesive Council. Along with the community, I also want to aggressively and collectively address public education, drug abuse public safety.
I believe my greatest qualification is that I am willing to try different methods of attacking our social and governmental issues. We can no longer continue to accept the norm when it comes to public safety, public education and job creation. Along with the Administration and community, we must begin to take a look at how we are spending our tax payers dollars, and see if some of those funds can be spent in ways to help our children, adults and seniors. We can not police or build our way out of our problems. Locally and Statewide we spend millions of dollars trying to fix broken people and broken systems. I know that money can be spent supporting a system that builds whole, well rounded children who will then become responsible, informed and involved members of the community.
Our neighborhoods are in a crisis. The most urgent issue are crime, public education and job creation. Again, I think that we must demand the very best education system in the Country. This will dramatically decrease, crime, increase jobs and change the perception of Wilmington..from a dangerous city to one where people will want to relocate their families and businesses. We must also address drug abuse and the fact that Delaware doesn't have any long term rehabilitation facilities. Our friends and family should not have to go out of State to get long term help. We must decrease the demand for drugs by providing real, sustainable help. Every District in the City should have a community center that continues to reinforce what our children learn in school. Along with our schools, they should offer classes on local politics, financial awareness, cooking, healthy eating and exercise, parenting, and home maintenance home ownership. We must regain our family structure.
Government has to make the decision to be a part of this effort. Racial inequity begins before birth. We must change the fact that Wilmington and other cities have food deserts which lead to health disparities. We must address that Wilmington does not have its own school system and our local government has no authority on how and what our children learn. This is no longer acceptable. We must acknowledge that our public safety departments are grossly misrepresentative of the ethnic population of Wilmington. I also believe that we must take a look at the possibility of regulating childcare. When ill prepared, many of our children begin kindergarten already not having a strong foundation. It is almost impossible for them to catch up which leads to them having a greater chance of dropping out of school and getting involved in crime. We must begin to have the sometimes uncomfortable conversation about racial inequity with every elected official in every community throughout Delaware
As mentioned earlier, under my guidance, City Councilmembers would feel more vested in how we function. As a team, we will hire, fire, set pay rates, disperse discretionary funds and organize our standing committees This will immediately improve the culture and relationships of Council and Council Staff. Every Councilmember will have an equal seat at the table. And that table will be a round table with us making core decisions as a team. I will not prevent Councilmembers from presenting legislation or exclude members from press releases. Over the last 4 years, this has happened. The Charter of Wilmington City Council states the duty of Council President is to preside over Council meetings. Everything else should be done together. I want all Councilmembers to be relevant. I don't agree that the President should have more leverage concerning our finances and how we help our residents and organizations. I just want to be fair.
I would continue to invite our community and businesses to have a voice at council meetings. When Council voted to allow residents to have more of an opportunity to discuss legislation at council meetings, our current President did not support that. Thankfully it passed. Additionally, when some Councilmembers tried to revoke this benefit, I voted against it. Our current President continued to support the effort that would have decreased residents ability to dialog with us about legislation in real time. I would also establish 2 days a week where residents could come to the City Council office and talk directly with me after normal business hours about their concerns. One of these days would be a Saturday so that people's jobs wouldn't be a barrier. I would also incorporate the latest technologies so that the public could participate in meetings from home or work. They would be able to ask questions and get responses although they are not physically at a meeting.