Name as it appears on the ballot: Steven Williams
Full legal name, if different: Steven Lathrop Williams
Date of birth: 09/04/1973
Home address: 701 W. Trinity Ave. #112
Mailing address, if different from home:
Campaign Web site: www.stevenwilliamsformayor.com
Occupation & employer: Logistics Manager/ SENSUS
Home phone: 919.306.8436
Work phone: 919.424.8980
1) What do you believe are the most important issues facing Durham? The local economy, housing, crime, education and the environment.
If elected, what are your top priorities in addressing those issues?
Top Priorities for Mayor-hopeful Steven Williams are:
A). Local economy:
Identifying ways to employ citizens of Durham by attracting industries and business to the city. Equipping citizens with education and resources to contribute to the local economy through homeownership, and putting citizens on the fast track to employment by providing training in job areas offered by local industries.
Supporting green and eco-friendly initiatives to ensure Durham is the model municipality; garnering partnerships to ensure local humanitarian organizations focus their efforts on decreasing homelessness; continuing the recent trend of crime reduction in the city through strengthened efforts in gang prevention; improved overall compensation for the police department and increased visibility and enforcement of Teen Court.
Strengthen access to educational opportunities by galvanizing a volunteer effort aimed at improving the Durham Public School System, creating an educational network that provides Durham students with accessibility to various educational resources at institutions of higher learning.
2) What is there in your record as a public official or other experience that demonstrates your ability to be effective on the council? This might include career or community service; but please be specific about its relevance to this office.
Durham Mayor-hopeful Steven Williams will rely on his personal life experience as a 32 year native of Durham, 13 years as a logistics professional serving as a change agent and strategic partner in a multi-national corporation, and community youth sports director to provide the necessary leadership/vision which the City of Durham desires. Steven Williams knows all too well about the city as being a native of Durham. These experiences have provided a unique insight as to how the city/citizens think as well as interact with the local government. Steven Williams acknowledges that Durham gave him the necessary tools to become a success in this world today. Now armed with that knowledge, Steven Williams will infuse those beliefs within the City of Durham and all its children.
Steven Williams is the Assistant Athletic Director/Board Member for the Downtown Durham Athletic Association and Board Member for the Y.E.S. Organization, both are organizations that are focused on the youth in the City of Durham. These Non-Profit organizations are focused on empowering the youth in Durham with the improved athletic skill sets, sportsmanship and respect for themselves/communities. Steven Williams is also a 13 year member of the Durham Striders also a non-profit organization that has been in existence in the City of Durham for well over 30 years. This organization has provided the platform where many of its athletics were able to receive full athletic scholarships to Division I and II institutions. This exposure allowed Steven Williams to receive a track scholarship to Saint Augustine's College in Raleigh, NC. Steven Williams is not only a native of Durham but as you can see this was a good investment which is now paying off for the City of Durham. Mayoral hopeful Steven Williams is DURHAM and personifies the greatness which the citizens/community of Durham identifies with.
3) How do you define yourself politically and how does your political philosophy show itself in your past achievements and present campaign platform?
Steven Williams is a Conservative Liberal that exudes the knowledge, determination and passion Durham requires. Steven Williams believes that everyone should have the opportunity to sustain their families both in economical and educational arenas. Steven Williams' passion for community involvement manifests itself as he coaches and mentors inner city youth as Assistant Athletic Director for The Downtown Durham Athletic Association (D.D.A.A.) and his outreach efforts in the place he calls home, Historic Walltown Community.
The premise of Steven Williams' philosophy lies firmly in the United States Constitution. More emphatically the Bill of Rights which is the cornerstone of Steven Williams' beliefs, that allows for the freedom of expression, equal rights for all and citizenship rights. The Constitution mandates that government is for the people by the people. As public leaders, all are to note that they serve at the behest of the people and not the latter. These sacred documents are to be upheld with the utmost integrity; to maintain the progression of government. Dr. Cornel West states, "You can't lead the people if you don't love the people. You can't save the people if you don't serve the people." As a public servant Steven Williams would support the community with his time, restore the core values with his leadership and extend the growth of the city with his vision.
4) Identify a principled stand you might be willing to take if elected that you suspect might cost you some popularity points with voters.
Under the leadership of Steven Williams, increasing the starting salaries of the Durham Police Department would be an obstacle that many citizens may disagree with although a great necessity. Durham's officers are an important entity that not only enforce the local laws but are positioned in harm's way on a daily basis. Steven Williams believes that an elected official has to remain adherent, pragmatic and ethical regardless of the state of affairs.
5) Recently, the N.C. General Assembly approved a nutrient clean-up strategy for Jordan Lake, which will require local municipalities, including Durham, to pay for any necessary pollution-reduction measures. How will you work with the City's Public Works Department to ensure Durham's pollution-reduction goals are met, and how will you work to prevent similar pollution—and the high cost of state-mandated clean-up efforts—in the future?
There needs to be some strict pollution indicator measures set in place. These indicators would ensure that pollution rates are maintained at a stabilized level that is significantly below the state allowable mandate. City/County officials need to agree/adapt these measures and hold monthly discussions for to include proposals on how to further reduce pollution in Jordan Lake.
6) Southern Durham Development is suing Durham County for conducting a public hearing before changing its Jordan Lake watershed maps to accommodate a proposed mixed-use project known as 751 Assemblage. Supporters of the project say it will increase Durham's tax base, and call a public hearing to change the watershed maps an unnecessary burden on property owners. However, others question the validity of the survey and say the County is bound by the state's administrative code to conduct a public hearing. Would you consider annexing the property to resolve the matter, if Southern Durham Development requests that the City do so? Why?
Public input is imperative in such situations such as these. These matters require more concentrated investigation prior to any decision being rendered. Under Steven Williams' leadership, no annexation of any sort would be approved prior to public involvement in an open forum and fully addressing any possible health implications in detail.
7) Until recently, the City had a 25-square-mile "donut hole" in which no watershed protections existed. By closing the "donut hole"—which covered most of downtown—Durham lost an important incentive to attract downtown development and re-development, developers argued. What are your thoughts on how Durham can best attract smart growth while also protecting its watersheds?
Under Steven Williams' leadership there would be a strict storm water regulations established to monitor the environmental stability of the "doughnut hole". Intensely explore the positives and negatives of environmental development, to formulate a solid performance measure for storm water run-offs.
8) Fairway Outdoor Advertising has proposed amending the city-county Unified Development Ordinance to allow for electronic billboards? Are you in favor of this measure, or not? Please explain your answer.
Steven Williams will not respond in favor of or not until the above said ordinance is open for public review.
9) Last year, Durham voters rejected a proposed half-cent "meals tax" for local projects. This year, a half-cent sales tax for transit is proposed in the legislature, also requiring voter's approval. But Durham could pay for transit and other needs simply by increasing property taxes, which some consider a more progressive method than either of the alternatives. Which taxes should be increased, if any, and for which projects? Will you support the half-cent sales tax for transit if the legislature enacts it and the county puts it on the ballot?
Durham is in need of improving its public transportation. Steven Williams would support a tax increase if it yields for a "greener" means of transit. With a revamped transportation infrastructure there would be an increase tax responsibility that but will rely open forums to determine where these contributions would be allocated from.
10) The FY 2009-10 budgets includes cuts to many social services, while maintaining rainy-day funds necessary to maintain Durham's AAA credit rating. How can Durham maintain services for the neediest while also balancing its budget?
Durham must increase their partnerships with local non-profit orgs to collectively provide care /services to those individuals/families in need during these turbulent times. By partnering with these local orgs it lessens the burden on the city and strengthens humanitarian efforts.
11) One of the focus areas for economic redevelopment is northeast-central Durham. How do you propose redeveloping that area and through what measures?
Steven Williams' believes that citizens living in these areas should be initially involved in the developing process in northeast-central Durham. Steven Williams will assess the neighborhood for potential revitalization efforts, consider public concerns in an open forum and from these actions, construct a plan that meets or exceeds the expectations of the city and its citizens.
12) Assess the health and effectiveness of the city's economic incentives fund. What improvements could be made?
Steven Williams believes the incentive funds are performing as expected but only for specified areas of Durham. City leaders need to furnish incentives to revive more of the lesser developed communities in conjunction with present efforts.