Here is an interview that I done with Jennifer Daniel, Publisher of The Avondale Reader/Content Producer of Bham Now on May 11, 2017 after announcing my candidacy for city council:
1. When did you officially announce your candidacy and where/how did you do it?
I officially announced my candidacy for City Council on Friday, May 5, 2017 on Facebook and in person Sunday, May 7, 2017 at Deliverance Outreach Ministries in Birmingham. I made a big fuss about my candidacy on social media with a simple yet strong statement. Later, the pastor of the church allowed me to make the announcement to her members with boldness and conviction.
2. What is the name of your political action committee?
The Committee to Elect Keith O. Williams for City Council
3. Have you filed your intent to run with the Jefferson County probate office paid the registration fee? If so, when?
I have filed for intent to run for office through the Jefferson County Probate Office on May 5, 2017. Upon my date of qualification, I was told to submit my papers and pay the registration fee.
4. Why are you running for city council of Birmingham?
I love my neighborhood and the people of District 6. I am tired of seeing them struggling and insecure. Their voices need to be heard and their issues need to be addressed, but they are not. I had enough of the excuses, the lies, and secrets
5. What is your background, education and experience? Do you have experience in politics and/or community work? If so, please include that.
I am a 1992 graduate of A.H. Parker High School with studies at Alabama State University (Business Management), Liberty University (Finance), and World Bible School (Biblical Studies). I also carry a web development certification from ALISON, a post-secondary education institution via distance learning. This is my first political office that I am seeking, however I have been involved in my church (where I am an ordained minister), was a volunteer for Junior Achievement, and served the needs of the less fortunate while living in Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Waverly, VA.
6. Where do you live in the Birmingham area? How long have you been a resident?
I am a resident of the North Titusville neighborhood of Birmingham. I grew up in the neighborhood, but lived in Virginia for 17 years. I returned to Birmingham in late November 2016. So I lived in the city (for the second time) now for about six months.
7. What are the top three issues Birmingham is facing as a community, and how do you intend to address them?
Based on the people that I talked to in my district, the three main issues are: crime (to include theft of property, drugs, and prostitution), the deterioration of neighborhoods that foster crime and downplay the quality of life for people living in those communities, and lack of communication between citizens and city leaders. First, I want satisfactory police patrol in neighborhoods with high crime rate and become an advocate to the safety of citizens. I will put pressure on the Mayor to provide adequate security to make citizen feel safe at home and about their communities. Second, I will work with citizens, neighborhood leaders, and city leaders to develop opportunities for people to work and play as a means not to engage in crime (i.e. retail establishments for job creations, city-owned activity as a haven for people to turn to for activity, assistance, and local events that encourage unity and pride). Last, to form a cooperation between the councilor and citizens to raise concerns, suggest solutions, and fight to execute solutions in a way that will benefit the majority.
8. How will you foster a healthy, working relationship between the mayor’s office and the Birmingham City Council/City hall?
First, I believe love has gone cold so much that disagreements among city members can turn violent and that needs to stop. I understand we all won’t agree on everything, but adults should discuss and work things out professionally and maturely and stop acting like children with temper tantrums. Second, I must lead by example. I’m a firm believer that if you are calm in a heated situation, other people will tone down. It works in retail when a sales associate deals with customers so why can it not work in government. After all, the people of Birmingham are our customers. City leaders are customers within itself. If that means, the mayor and the city council have to go to a third party to iron out personal differences, then so be it. Last, I must be loving, respectful, and
9. How important is transparency in your campaign and role as a city council member? How will you accomplish transparency with the residents of Birmingham, if elected?
I believe you have to know what the people are going through in order to relate to them. I am going through some of their problems such as not being able to reach my leaders, being a victim of theft, and help getting the help I need to thrive as a productive situation. What better person to run for office then someone who shares the same problems and have the same concerns? My plan is to form a cooperation between myself, the neighborhood leaders, and the citizens to open the lines of communication, identify issues and concerns, and organize strategies in getting these concerns to city leaders using input from multiple sources. I will use this information to fight for the people in my district despite opposition, criticism, kickbacks, and anything that is not in the best interest of the people. I will not rest until the people in my district or safe and have a quality of life everyone deserves.
10. How do you intend to lower area crime rates?
First, there needs to be adequate police patrol to stop criminals and have better response time for criminal activity for officiers. Second, many of the abandon properties that are potential criminal activity needs to be torn down. Some properties can be used for better housing for hardworking residences. Other properties can be used or rezoned for activity that is positive and productive to the citizens. Last, there needs to be a better relationship between police and the citizen to insure we don’t have incidents to where both parties are not into a harm’s way situation.
11. How are you spreading the word about your campaign, and do you have any events coming up that we can share with our readers?
I have already begun to take the streets and speaking to residences concerning the election and about running for office. My most powerful tools in reaching people in the campaign’s early stages are word of mouth and social media (i.e. Facebook, Twitter). At this time, there are no major events, but that will change in the coming weeks.
12. What district are you running for and what area does that cover?
I am running for City Council, District 6 which consist of Arlington West End, Cooper Green Homes, Glen Iris (Also part of District 3), Graymont (Also part of District 5), Mason City, Loveman Village, North Titusville, Oakwood Place, Powderly (Also part of District 7), Smithfield, South Titusville, West End Oark, Woodland Park.
13. What’s a positive idea you want to see implemented that will enrich your district?
I would to see the old Elyton School to be transformed into a city-own activity center where young people can have a place to hang out, learn, and have fun. This place will also be a haven for adults who are looking for positive activity, assistance, counseling, and self-worth. It will become a symbol of pride for the residence of the city with the quality of life everyone in the city deserves.
Check out the official article here.