Last set of question from Debate:
1. What will you do to support affordable housing for all, and address rental rates and displacement?
- I support affordable housing for all, but believe the free market should be responsible for this issue. I support all federal anti-discrimination laws, including those that deal with housing. There are federal programs that address housing. The Feds seem to have an endless pot of money, and while our current city officials seem to think the same thing, they are incorrect.
2. What innovative programs would you support to encourage stable housing options for all homeless Grand Rapidians?
- Willard Lee entered this race to address this problem, and I will bow to his expertise in this area.
3. Excited to hear the candidates’ views on housing, employment, etc for youth 18-24, especially those experiencing homelessness.
- I wrote about a mayor’s impact on jobs and unemployment on my website, see: http://george4mayor2015.com/?p=1099. Regarding youth homelessness, there are homeless shelters available, but I realize that’s not a long term solution. I will work with the city commission on existing programs and try to influence positive results.
1. How would you engage our community especially minority communities, in decision making? As Green GR and GR Forward didn’t work.
- I would encourage all citizens to come to city commission meetings and voice concerns. I would encourage all citizens to work with their city commissioners and the mayor on an individual basis to provide viewpoints, influence issues and decisions. I am for supporting citizen groups in a way that allows them to deal with issues from the grassroots.
2. How will you focus on addressing issues affecting disproportionately people of color in GR?
- Since I am calling for smaller government, I am hopeful an eventual result would be more money flowing to items that benefit neighborhoods. I’ve spoken to groups that see some areas receiving the benefit of improvement, while their areas continue to languish. This is not acceptable, but I would need be part of discussions on programs currently in place, and hope to positively influence the direction forward.
1. How should communities be policed and what do you think the role of the community is in defining the answer?
- Locally. See my discussion at george4mayor2015.com/?p=560
2. Militarization of the police is a national problem. How do you plan to buck that trend in GR? Similarly: does GR really need assault weapons? What’s an alternative that engages the community to reduce violence?
- Agreed. See my answer at george4mayor2015.com/?p=560. As far as assault weapons, I’m not in favor of the police carrying them on the streets or in squad cars, sidearms/shotguns are sufficient. That said, I am in favor of having them available in the event they are required to oppose similarly armed criminals.
3. What is your opinion of body cams for GR Police?
- In favor. See http://george4mayor2015.com/?p=483.
4. You talk about diversifying the police force, but how will you provide intercultural competency for ALL the police?
- I remain in favor of keeping the police force under local control. I am in favor of hiring the most intelligent officers possible. I believe doing so is the best method of providing interculteral competency. I’ve come out in favor of body cams in the hopes that recorded encounters will remain civil and nonviolent.
5. Opinions on Medical Marijuana and Decriminalization in GR?
- I am in favor of medical marijuana. It’s a plant with proven benefits in dealing with many diseases, often without side effects. I’ve written about decriminalization here: http://george4mayor2015.com/?p=1000
1. Need to specifically ask how important it is for each candidate for GR to become LGBT friendly.
- It’s important for each candidate to treat each citizen equally as prescribed by the Constitution, period.