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What I Believe:
Voters have recognized that Richmond’s new mayor must have the confidence of all regional citizens and come from a diversified background that inspires creativity and business growth while cultivating city service worker efficiency and morale. Your new mayor also must utilize these dynamics to deliver, crystal clear, honest commitments to the less fortunate.
Richmond’s new mayor is more than a bean counter, administrator or book keeper. A mayor and his staff must see possibilities in places and people that have been marginalized and show in practical steps how to honestly and humbly represent equality, while promoting city growth and equal opportunity.
Having been raised in the toughest neighborhoods of Richmond, Lawrence is sensitive to the traits a mayor must have and insure we don’t make the mistakes of the past. Having come from this political background, Lawrence can uniquely observe community dynamics of all walks of life and their values with a professionally trained eye, offering sensitive, seasoned insight.
Lawrence also recognizes that as your new mayor, fresh starts are required. Also your mayor must have real world, true development and logistical experience from old community ties with local civic associations, business leaders and city staff. What I believe: Presently it takes too long when compared to the surrounding counties for the city to find solutions that nurture our youth, reduce tax burdens or deliver basic services in a timely manner. City response times to trim alley trees, review building permits for business or just providing comments to civic associations for community improvements are too long. City growth is too slow!
"As your new mayor, I will pledge to develop a city government, business culture, that does not waste your time, taxes, talent and what you treasure most, your rights”.
Lawrence Williams for Mayor
The Williams Platform: A Ten Point Revitalization Plan
Candidates with no city government experience are unable to or unwilling to politically offer specific, strategic, community development /governmental management approaches as part of their election platform.
“Lawrence Williams for Mayor” offers real world plans, commitments and pledges to the Citizens of Richmond.
Together we will expand this revitalization platform:
“Save Our Schools & Save Our City”
Your Comments are welcomed as we refine this platform for the November 8th Election.
1 As your new Mayor, I pledge to increase meetings with citizens and community organizations in scheduled, real and transparent working committee settings that allow citizen formulation and buy in concerning the following issues:
City capital project expenditures shall be on point based prioritized cost benefit projects.
No more politically motivated development initiatives.
2 As your new Mayor, I pledge to find new sources of funding for our school system. I will review increased bonding capacity funding without residential property tax increases, utilizing business sector growth, training programs, new and existing commercial development tax zone income. Richmond Public Schools as we know it will not change until funding is at $380 million to $400 million and the student teacher ratio is at 1 to 15 with specialist teaching assistants in each classroom. I will work to increased funding from the Virginia State Legislature by lobbing to lower the city ability to pay for schools, composite index of 47.58% to be equal at 35.10% or below surrounding counties at 19% to 25%. See: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/school_finance/budget/compositeindex_local_abilitypay/2016-2018/composite_index.pdf
Richmond's total land mass and building assessed value is two thirds that of surrounding counties. Richmond's total adjusted citizen income is two thirds that of surrounding counties. A lowering of the City ability to pay for schools is a regional issue. A result of the sixties funding formulas, the counties now have their required schools. To achieve adequate city education models satisfactory to the region, an annual designated fixed operating fund with fair state help should be $40 and $75 million or more above approximate goals of $127 million received from the state added to the approximate goals of $177.85 million City ability to pay contributions. $379.85 to $400 million annually is required to equal surrounding county schools annual instructional budgets based on student population and new education models. City tax income will continue to increase after the 2008 recession, increasing the designated 30% lock box school funding strategy. Summary: $717 million City general fund contribution at fixed 30% = $215,100,000 + $127,000,000, the present State contribution + $40,000,000, lowered composite index additional funding + $10,000,000 from federal grants, special education, family medicaid funding + $5,000,000 from nonprofit participation and fundraising + $5,000,000 from business designated tax zones, participation and grants. Total $402,100,000. New construction bonding capacity will be untouched for four years during new culture, comprehensive master planning, until full city bonding capacity is reached in the 5th year. Approximately $38 million efficiencies must be found in the existing general fund budget to support our schools. Approximately $3 million must still however be added to our community policing budget. In addition to the above mentioned funds totaling $402,100,000 for schools, I will work as a Mayor/architect with the superintendent of schools to improve maintenance, facility management, increase energy savings contracts as well as review new construction cost savings. All improvements without school consolidation.
2.1 I will encourage with council and school board support, the building of two specialized middle school campus academies that will rival any private school in the region, surrounded by new mixed income community housing and commercial development. One campus academy enhancing the parent/student/teacher experience located north and one campus academy located south of the James River always surrounded by new mixed income and development first choice communities. Quick design build, investor group, tax credit financing will lead to long term building leasing controlled by investors heirs and is not recommended as stated in present laws. School Districts must own property.
2.2 I will encourage with council and school board support that all middle school principals are designated "Vice Mayors" with a vested interest in the success of surrounding community families.
2.3 I will encourage with council and school board support the evaluation of the central office staff below the superintendent in an effort to reduce management at the top and place it at the teacher level to facilitate a new culture of seasoned professionals within a reintegrated school system.
2.4 I will encourage with council and school board support the recognition of seasoned retained teachers with competitive salaries adjustments based on student strengths evaluation and improvement, student citizen/character development and non-SOL performance criteria. I will encourage academy teachers to provide three year mentoring of younger teachers as part of their new contract with the citizens of Richmond.
2.5 I will encourage with council and school board support that the school board improve the student teacher ratio in schools, starting with middle community center schools, at a one instructor to 15 students ratio. Each teacher would co teach with an assistant specialist to give individual student personalities the attention they deserve. New school planning will stress hand mind learning environments with labs, studios and shops adjacent to each classroom.
2.6 I will work to improve teacher morale and pride of place in the new community institutions we build.
2.7 I will creatively with all deliberate speed adopt proven performance based initiatives from other parts of the world that “Enhance the Parenting Experience “.
2.8 I will strive to provide more after school opportunities for students with parents and a third nutritious meal for students to improve their well being, academic and athletic performance.
3 As your new Mayor, I pledge to evaluate and restructure a “New Department of Strategic Planning and Budgets.” The department will plan beyond one year cycles with ledgers for each city department posted monthly on line for citizen oversight review. Both Operating and Capital Improvement Budgets shall be based on an overlapping five year strategic plan.
3.1 As your Mayor, I pledge to establish a Citizen Oversight Board for City Budget and Strategic Planning based on an objective point based prioritized cost benefit system.
3.2 The nine member board shall be appointed by council and comprised of appropriate expertise professionals and citizens with staff support.
3.3 I will encourage with council and school board support that newly appointed liaisons shall be experts in varied fields of professional expertise and be retitled “Area Managers” as their new job description. "Area Managers” shall be evaluated on performance and offered promotions based on merit and citizen satisfaction with their response time and issue resolution management.
4 As your new Mayor, I pledge to find new approaches to city government, education and community development thru a new mayor’s leadership initiative supported by the Council and School Board called: "The International Center for Social Research and Development”.
4.1The International Center for Social Research and Development will be tasked with finding and or contacting successful programs, institutions and nonprofits that are making changes in all parts of the world and cataloging these program recommendations for distribution throughout our region.
4.2 The International Center for Social Research and Development shall be tasked with improving Richmond public schools utilizing city hall press access, community and media education, staff culture evaluations and nonprofit support.
4.2 The International Center for Social Research and Development shall be tasked with improving "Neighborhood Based Jobs and Economic Opportunities" in underserved communities utilizing community and media education, highlighting ” what works” strategies and nonprofit development.
4.3 The International Center for Social Research and Development shall be tasked with improving the non-bricks and mortar Human Resource Capital within all communities focusing on self-awareness empowerment among the marginalized coordinating existing community program assets, media education and nonprofit development.
4.4 The International Center for Social Research and Development shall be funded through the Department of Economic Development. The economic development department shall in turn become the reorganized Department of Planning Permits and Community Economic Development or as determined by Council.
4.5 The Building Permits Department shall be relocated to the Jefferson Davis Highway corridor to provide contractors and citizens easy access to conduct city business with new facilities rivalling surrounding county seats.
4.6 The International Center for Social Research and Development, national outreach efforts, shall supplement and work in concert with the Department of Community Wealth Building. Its primary purposed, however is to provide a centralized stored research archive and be a facilitator agency offering researched successful programs shared with the region and possibly funded regionally.
5 As your new Mayor, I pledge to find new approaches to community policing and neighborhood safety. With Community input, I am confident that we can find solutions unique to each neighborhood.
5.1This mayor, a trained architect would enjoy attending your meetings and look forward to personally facilitating your meeting should you desire.
5.2 I pledge to create a more high-profile presence for social workers. Citizens want to see a "Family and Neighborhood Development" car on our streets for every police car that's out there.
5.3Together we can achieve lasting practical solutions with local stake holders and community leaders.
6 As your new Mayor, I pledge to not raise taxes on residential properties and reduce tax burdens on qualifying disabled and fixed income elderly. I will maintain or lower the real estate tax rate at $1.20 per thousand dollars of property assessment, always striving to keep our tax rates competitive with surrounding counties despite our additional responsibilities.
7 As your new Mayor, I pledge to find new approaches to improving city buildings and roadway infrastructure reducing street potholes improved curbs and gutter, storm drainage and traffic control. A good Mayor gets things done with good people. I pledge to have 2,500 potholes filled within the first 100 days of my administration. Also I will reduce paid parking downtown and reduce, as a trained architect, maintenance cost, for city owned buildings and schools while generally positioning our city as an environmental leader.
8 As your new Mayor, I pledge to find a new home for the Richmond Flying Squirrels on the underutilized State of Virginia owned Sports Backers track and field property located east, adjacent to and behind the present inefficient high maintenance stadium. A new maintenance free, energy efficient year round multi use stadium would be constructed. Existing track and field would be relocated to supporting Chesterfield or Henrico. The Richmond Squirrels and the long term institution of Sports Backers will share the new stadium. With your vote, as mayor, I would have the authority to negotiate this resolution to a regional issue utilizing state owned land. The state owned ABC property would also become corporate high-rise, maximizing, gateway, high visibility, land use rivaling The James Center. The stadium would be paid for by the private sector and user fees. A percentage of income from the development proffers would go straight to leveraging school capital improvement funding. A 200+ year free and self-sustaining street grid on city property would be laid out in paper right of ways at no cost to city. Private sector and citizens would then be allowed to determine what they desire on the blocks in their efforts to continue the Cary Town, Museum District and Scotts Addition fabric further down what is now North Boulevard.
9 As your new Mayor, I pledge to find new approaches to Shockoe Bottom respecting the sacred properties and present landowners while facilitating economic development that would generate designated real estate taxes for our school system. I support the phase one Lumpkin’s jail restoration as well as a memorial public assembly plaza north of Broad surrounded by appropriate supporting land use with greater emphasis on moving the Exxon station north along Oliver Hill Way as part of a new institutional use / hotel / parking lot with second floor grocery store, south of Broad. The non-historical, eyesore Exxon Station would be replaced with greater taxable income producing, worthy institutional uses surrounding Shockoe Square. As mayor, I would also encourage greater respect for and memorial to Mrs. Lumkin, an Afro American women, for the life she endured and her willingness to offer her land during tough times for the founding of Virginia Union University on the site. With your vote supporting a candidate for mayor with appropriate urban planning training, I would have the authority to negotiate this resolution of historical significance in sensitive, innovative and practical steps allowing all stakeholders, through collaboration and diplomacy, to reach agreements with enthusiasm.
10 As your new Mayor, I pledge to find new approaches to achieving Richmond’s full potential, as what I would call:
“Richmond: America’s First Green Democracy“.
Greenways would connect residential neighborhoods to schools and neighborhood centers. Richmond is still a small town. We have time and the capacity to get it right. The new pulse system would be reconfigured to be a linear transfer station along the length of Broad Street. We can achieve sustainable, balanced community living with honest opportunity. All within a culturally based city infrastructure that recognizes the strengths of its citizens and business. We too can also respect our environment and allow our population to live energy independent, yet practical high quality, un-extravagant lifestyles. We will be a lasting example to the world.
[RICHMOND MAGAZINE] RICHMOND MAYORATHON FORUM:
Lawrence Williams’ best performance of the campaign. In our candidate profile of Williams back in August, Giles Harnsberger of Groundwork RVA praised the candidate as a visionary thinker when it comes to community planning issues. On Thursday, the nitty-gritty policy questions were in Williams’ wheelhouse, and he offered articulate answers that earned him applause from the audience on several occasions. He said he believed Richmond could be “the most livable city in America,” a goal he would work toward by establishing viable mass transit that directs developers where they should build and invest. Also crucial to the goal is incorporating new alternative transit systems — bike and pedestrian greenways — to connect neighborhoods, he said. Improving riverfront amenities would draw more people to the James, the city’s biggest asset and, as he put it, “Richmond’s Central Park.” Click the link below:
[WTVR 6 NEWS] RICHMOND EVENING NEWS VIDEO INTERVIEW:
Ahead of the Nov. 8 election, Richmond mayoral candidate Lawrence Williams joined CBS 6 for an in studio interview and answered questions from voters via Facebook live. Click the link below:
[WRIC 8 NEWS] RICHMOND EVENING NEWS VIDEO INTERVIEW:
Candidate Lawrence Williams, 63, says he’s hard-wired to be the city’s next mayor. “Well, believe it or not, I’ve trained all my life to be Mayor of Richmond,” Williams told 8News. “Went to UVA, went to Harvard, I have an architecture degree and community development experience.” Click the link below:
[RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH] EDITORIAL BOARD VIDEO INTERVIEW:
The Editorial Department invited mayoral candidates to sit for interviews. This is the first time we are using video to share editorial interviews. We're doing it because of the interest in the unusual mayoral race. Click the link below:
[RICHMOND MAGAZINE] CANDIDATE WRITTEN RESPONSES TO ISSUES:
Williams written responses on Biking/Walking, Education, Neighborhoods, River and Transit.
Click the link below:
[NEXT UP RVA] AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS VIDEO:
Williams supports after school programs and making middle schools full community service neighborhood centers.
Click the link below:
“Richmond Can Be The Most Livable City In America”
Lawrence Ellis Williams 2016
“Richmond : America’s First Green Democracy“
Lawrence Ellis Williams 2016
“Together we must enhance the parenting experience within our schools and within our communities”
Lawrence Ellis Williams 2016
"Things Are Going To Be Different Now"
Lawrence Ellis Williams 2016
“Richmond: Righteous History, Righteous People”
Lawrence Ellis Williams 2016
Your Comments are welcome as we refine our platform.
I am confident that the 40% of undecided voters have waited to be certain of their vote for me and are certain now their vote will bring real justice and meaningful change to Richmond, beyond the business community. And that change in all our communities can only occur by voting for a candidate that can win five districts. A vote for Williams is a strategic caring vote. A smart informed vote for a candidate with actual, real world, city budget and community development experience. A candidate that wants to change our inner city schools, fight for more funding for Richmond Public Schools and send a clear message that Richmond voters care about underserved neighborhoods. All voters desire a mayor, that is professionally trained to think both practically and innovatively. At 63, I am the senior of all the candidates for mayor, offering a 35 year, work history, resume helping citizen clients, the business community, civic associations, city hall administrators and city budget advisory boards. I have proven in the mayoral debates to be a leader on issues and the only candidate that has told you what I will do for you with actual illustrated gallery plans and step by step strategic implementations strategies that will serve all citizens and communities.
In this election professional background competency, community trust and community experience matters. The 40% will speak on election day,” Williams for Mayor, all things considered, the logical experienced choice to save our schools, save our city and inspire our youth”. See you on election day, November 8th.
Williams For Mayor 2016
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