African American Christian Clergy Coalition – CANDIDATES QUESTIONNAIRE
Last week I was asked by the African American Christian Clergy Coalition to complete a Candidate Questionnaire. Below are the questions they asked along with my responses. I believe these questions and answers provide some insight into areas that I will focus on when working with the Arizona Legislature.
Where do you see funding for programs that will push to eliminate health disparities in the African American community and how will similar programs provide resources regarding basic health care?
I would begin by researching funding resources and program options, as listed below, to determine which programs are current and most proactive and also, enlist the aid of consultants in this field.
- AZDHS – Arizona Health Equity Stakeholder Strategies Executive Office of the President
- National Conference of State Legislatures (2013)
- Affordable Care Act and Medicaid Expansion
- HHS – Minority HIV/AIDS Initiative & American Public Health Association(199)
- Offices on Minority Health – Healthy People 2010
- CCCHCP (created 1992) Cross Cultural Health Program
- Office of Civil Rights
- Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Health Care Financing Administration
- National Institutes of Health
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
- Department of Veterans’ Affairs
What are your plans in ensuring that black students are successful? What plans do you have to encourage cultural competency within schools?
- Identify and implement programs and pedagogy emphasizing science, math, and technology.
- Examine current methodologies for school funding at the state level and determine how these resources might be adjusted or reallocated; explore additional sources of revenue to fund programs that ensure success among AA students.
- Recruit additional African American staff that reflects demographic make of the school district, city, and/or state.
- Work with administration and school boards to provide comprehensive culturally competent training for all staff, including teaching and support staff.
- Introduce legislation that provides equitable funding based on district and student need. Direct adequate funding amounts to mitigate technological and internet “deserts,” which has been exacerbated by the Covid 19 pandemic.
- Introduce legislation that funds loan forgiveness programs for teachers who are willing to commit to underachieving and/or culturally-challenged or culturally-deficient schools and districts.
What will elected officials do to determine ways to get more affordable and humane living conditions for those who live in low income communities?
- Identify funding at the state and federal level is increase resources and housing stock, through acquisition and rehab of existing properties, annex/acquire land for new construction.
- Collaborate with faith- and community-based organizations to renovate hotels, motels, and substandard housing and building stock into transitional and permanent housing.
- Solicit bank participation to create special financing for developers and builders that will accommodate and provide affordable housing for permanent residency and homeownership.
- Explore the feasibility of tax increment financing for housing development.
- Identify strategies to illuminate homelessness and move homeless persons and families to permanent residential status.
- Lobby the federal government to retain fair housing rules and regulations.
What are political factors that cause the black community, as a whole, to fall far below the poverty line?
- Institutional racial discrimination and systemic bias
- Redlining by banking, lending, credit, and insurance institutions
- Absence of black owned financial institutions
- Small business disincentives for AA seeking business loans, i.e., prolonged, convoluted, and biased application processes
- Inequitable, unreasonable, and poorly administered licensing processes, i.e., medical home health care business
Why should we trust you? What do you bring to the table and why do you deserve our vote?
You can trust me because I have a proven track record advocating, supporting and representing the interests of many constituencies, especially in health and housing. I have demonstrated a spirit of caring for people, compassionate advocacy, and commitment to racial, social, and human justice – as a Pastor, as my leadership and involvement in the EVNAACP, as a home health business owner, as a low-income housing reformer, and as a board-certified chaplain.
I bring to the table a wealth of experience in working with low income families and in transitioning these families from rental status to homeownership. My chaplaincy training is most relevant as it enables me to provide support and advocacy for any ethnic group, faith or religious adherent, and gender orientation. I am an advocate for people and I have successfully championed small and large human rights issues. I have extensive training in culturally diverse environments, including housing initiatives, hospital and other health care facilities, home health care, and teaching environments.
As an elected official, I will continue working on the issues I have confronted and addressed for 30+ years. I am one who is not consumed with drive to pursue my own personal interests; I am able and committed to address the interests and needs of the people whom I represent.