THE MEEKS FOR MAYOR PLATFORM
"This election is about the status-quo versus progress. The special interests versus the people." - Danny Meeks
DANNY MEEKS ON THE ISSUES
Maintaining Portsmouth's Bond Rating
It is critical that Portsmouth maintain its Bond Rating – it’s essentially our city's credit score. If the status-quo continues, there is a very real chance that Portsmouth's rating will be downgraded, which would be detrimental to our schools, first responders, and critical services.
If elected Mayor, I will move rapidly to stabilize our city’s finances and get Portsmouth actually GROWING AGAIN! I’m working with business and community leaders across the region on a comprehensive plan to turn this city's finances and trajectory around as quickly as humanly possible.
If we work together, with the right plan and strong leadership, we can get job-creating projects moving forward at a record pace.
Creating a Technology Zone
Google, Amazon and Facebook recently invested billions of dollars installing transatlantic fiber cables through Portsmouth, which are essentially the Internet'sHighways that connect the world, giving us some of the fastest and most reliable internet service on the East Coast. Only New York and Miami have similar cables!! And because significant sections of our city have been designated Opportunity Zones by the federal government, businesses that create jobs in these areas will receive significant tax benefits for the next decade.
As your Mayor, I will transform Portsmouth into the technology and startup epicenter of Hampton Roads: encouraging Big Technology companies to open offices in our city, creating a startup ecosystem that connects startups with venture capital, and ultimately creating thousands of jobs for ALL the people of Portsmouth!!
Reforming Our Justice System
With your support, I plan to work with the City Manager, Commonwealth’s Attorney, Sheriff and Police Chief to reform Portsmouth’s justice system.
This starts with forming a Community Review Panel comprised of leaders from our community, churches, schools, and businesses to make recommendations to the City Manager and Police Chief on how we can make Portsmouth’s justice system far more equitable and just.
As your Mayor, I will also work with the Sheriff and Police Chief to increase the number of trained and professional law enforcement officials on our streets to deter crime and within their communities to address the problems facing their neighborhoods.
These additional support services funded by the state have the potential to bring in seven-figure revenues to the city... how can we turn this away?
With these proceeds, I believe we can fund the construction of a new city jail, away from the waterfront, without raising your taxes. This will not only maintain the current jobs in our great city but also open up new opportunities for value-added jobs and business contracts.
However, I believe the only way we can reduce crime in the long-run is by creating jobs and economic opportunities for the people of Portsmouth -- not only will this success improve everyone's quality of life, but I believe it will enable us to significantly reduce violent crime while keeping our focus on public safety.
Supporting Our Schools
There is a defining shift happening in our country from in-person interactions to digital – and it’s currently being accelerated by Covid-19. Not only do Portsmouth’s schools need to adapt to this new teaching environment, but they also need to equip our children with the skills and experiences they need to succeed in technology.
As your Mayor, one of the most significant ways I can help our schools is by getting rid of the “Matrix Formula” model that was adopted by City Council earlier this year. I do not believe schools should be funded off a formula-based model. School funding should be based on the School Boards and Superintendent’s needs. It has always been my desire to fully fund and support the school system.
While serving as your City Councilman, I proposed and succeeded in creating a recurring technology budget in the amount of $6.4 million for Portsmouth's schools, giving our students access to world-class technology.
I am a product of Douglas Park Elementary, Mt. Hermon Elementary, Individual Learning Center (ILC), Highland Biltmore Elementary, Brighton Elementary, Alf J. Mapp Jr. High, Cradock High School and Manor High School. Here I was blessed to be prepared by some of the world’s greatest teachers, such as Ms. King, Ms. Edmonds, Mr. Sheppard, and Principal Lindell Wallace.
As your Mayor, I will fully support and fully fund our school system to ensure that our students receive a world class education so they can have the opportunity to compete globally.
Improving Our Roads
Portsmouth's roads are in serious need of improvement: potholes litter our thoroughfares, neighborhood streets aren't properly illuminated, and the very pavement of our roads is deteriorating. If the status-quo continues, dark streets and rough roads will continue tearing up the vehicles of our taxpayers -- I find this completely unacceptable.
As your Mayor, I will take full advantage of the $13.7 million the State of Virginia provides our city annually for road repairs -- enough to repave about 18 miles of roads per year.
However, much like the rest of Portsmouth's budget, the only way we can fully fund our transportation needs in the long run is to grow our city's population, stimulate local business growth, and dilute our tax base. We cannot tax our way to solving this problem!
Opening a Casino in Portsmouth
Delegates Barry Knight, Steve Heretick, and Don Scott have done a phenomenal job laying the groundwork for a casino in Portsmouth. Our next Mayor must have the knowledge and experience to get the deal over the finish line so the people of our great city can start reaping its benefits: thousands of jobs, millions of dollars in economic activity, and an opportunity to improve Portsmouth's image across the region.