WILMINGTON – On Monday, Feb. 1, Philip White launched his 2021 campaign for a seat on Wilmington City Council.
White ran for office in 2017 and won close to 5% of the votes, a total of 1,446 ballots. He was beaten by then-newcomer Clifford Barnett and incumbents Kevin O’Grady and Charlie Rivenbark.
In this year’s municipal election, slated for Nov. 2, 2021, the seats of Barnett, O’Grady and Rivenbark are up for election once again. The Wilmington council members serve four-year terms.
The last day for a candidate seeking election to file is July 16.
A local of the city since 2009, White ran for office four years ago as a first-time candidate. He said his desire is to better represent residents, with the campaign slogan “Philip works for me.”
“The people need a voice and to have their interests represented on the council,” White said. “Too many people are disenfranchised and it’s past time that we bring them and their voice back to the council.”
White is stressing the need for improved listening, a skill he believes several council members are lacking.
“I have spent the past four years, sitting in the back of the room, listening to people’s struggles and stories, offering help where I can, and formulating solutions to the issues which we face here locally,” White said. “Those stories and experiences will form the basis of my platform.”
White said he is rolling out his policy plan in the coming weeks but pointed to a few concerns already, including the city’s involvement in private/public partnerships.
“It seems that our taxpayers keep picking up the tab for budget overages,” he said. “I do not see the value to taxpayers in these partnerships when we are spending millions and millions of taxpayer dollars.”
He is also focusing campaign priorities on addiction.
“As a person in recovery myself, who volunteers and works with other individuals struggling to overcome their substance abuse issues, I bring a completely unique perspective to this issue,” White noted. “A perspective not currently present on our city council.”
Addressing minority groups and small businesses, increased wages and benefits for workers, and environmental equity also are top-of-mind for the candidate.
“For far too long, our city leadership has focused on larger corporations as the sole recipient for tax incentives,” White said. “I believe that we should refocus our incentives to local, small businesses.”
White currently serves on the New Hanover County Parks Conservancy Board of Directors and previously held seats on the New Hanover County Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee and the young professionals board of A Safe Place. White is a business analyst and is looking to launch his own business this year.
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