SOUTHEASTERN N.C. — Marcus Williams, of Lumberton, is running for U.S. Senate. Sen. Richard Burr is not seeking re-election. Williams is up against 10 other Democratic candidates in the primaries.
Port City Daily has sent a questionnaire to every candidate appearing on ballots in the tri-county region. For federal and state offices, we asked candidates to address issues pertinent to the Cape Fear: PFAS, offshore wind, affordable housing and more.
The paywall is dropped on profiles to help voters make informed decisions.
As a reminder, the early voting period runs from Apr. 28 to May 14. The voter registration deadline is Apr. 22. Voters may partake in same-day registration throughout the two-week early voting period (check if your registration is active at your current address).
Primary Election Day is May 17. Voters will choose which candidates from their registered party they want to move forward in the formal election. Those who are registered as unaffiliated can choose which party’s primary they want to vote in.
Williams’ stances on issues are discussed below. All answers are included in full and the candidate’s opinions and statements are not a reflection of Port City Daily. Responses are edited only for grammar, spelling and clarity.
Port City Daily (PCD): Name three projects that you would advocate for funding and why.
Marcus Williams (MW): Three projects which I would advocate funding are those that have a Community Economic Development impact, and that target locally generated job creation initiatives, housing development and the renovation of pre-existing structures to utilize for multitudinous unmet community needs. In other words, we must fashion grants and resources to uplift our communities and help the residents have access to alternative job opportunities and vibrant, positive activities, including fine arts and sports. Please visit the Social Media sites embedded in our Website: WilliamsHouseUSA.com
Specifically, refer to the renovation of the 84,000 sq. ft. Tileston School, at Fifth & Anne in Wilmington; the construction of the 79 units of housing for the elderly and disabled known as Hadden Hall Apartments, just off Wrightsville Avenue; and the establishment of the Wilmington/New Hanover Community Development Corporation and its development of a Business Incubator (among other projects) with twelve, 1,500 sq. ft. business condo units, on Harnett Drive. These initiatives were the collaboration of public, private, nonsecular and governmental individuals and resources for the common good. 501(c)3 agencies are particularly instrumental due to their altruist goals, non-profit status and transparency in accounting. See facts and videos of what has transpired: Facebook.com/marcus.williams.5243817
Together we can replicate such efforts and improve our entire State.
1. PCD: Do you support offshore wind development? Clean energy tax breaks? Explain.
MW: Offshore wind development is, in my opinion, an inevitable likelihood to address our clean energy needs of the future. As an inveterate runner/jogger/biker, I’ve always stood in the vanguard of protecting our environment. Many issues concern me, but the clear, paramount priority is to protect the pristine nature of our coastal environment. Therefore, we must navigate a complex labyrinth of substantive issues involving the interplay of Federal and State laws, along with Federal and State environmental agency regulations. The bottom line is do no harm to our aquatic life, have redundant safeguards to prevent any type of coastal contamination (certificates of need shall be completed) and preserve the unimpeded panoramic view of our ocean. Final part of your Question: Clean energy tax breaks could constitute the incentives for businesses to work as partners in our joint efforts to reduce emissions and help prevent the rising tides in our coastal areas.
2. PCD: Where do you stand on women’s rights to choose?
The right of a woman to make her own health care decisions is exclusively within her conscience, control and individual discretion upon consultation with competent medical personnel. Adoptions, abstinence and family planning, most definitely, should be encouraged.
3. PCD: What are the main priorities to address infrastructure needs in North Carolina?
MW: One main priority to address infrastructure needs is for every resident and corporation to pay their fair share in taxes. Currently, the middle class and lower financial class are subsidizing the rich and the corporate interests, in my opinion. Of course, since 2013, in N.C., the situation became more draconian. The worst example was the elimination of the Low Income Tax Credit (a favored economic element advocated by Ronald Reagan) for those families making $20,000 or less, while simultaneously showering those making more than $200,000 with additional, substantial tax breaks.
4. PCD: How would you propose all North Carolinians have access to affordable healthcare?
MW: Encourage the N.C. Legislators (and inveigle business leaders to join in the effort) to access medical insurance funding available through the Affordable Care Act. Technically, it does not have to be “expansion of Medicaid” because other delivery models are available. (See Kaiser Report). Supplemental measures include expansion of the medical & dental clinics in rural areas by our medical school institutions and debt forgiveness programs to lure/retain doctors and nurse practitioners into/in the less populated areas.
5. PCD: Are there any actions you support to increase equitability and opportunities for historically marginalized populations?
MW: See #1, above. Further, one understated policy is to treat all people with respect and equanimity so that our State of N.C. will be an oasis or desired situs for the migration of out of State clean Industries & Corporations. In tandem, we must convince our youth to work assiduously to gain a skill or acquire the educational ability to adapt and capture jobs of the future in our ever-changing environment. Finally, equity in law enforcement and equity in the operation and outcomes in the judicial system, always constitute an outstanding foundation for promoting social justice. Otherwise, as an Attorney, in my 43rd continuous year of the practice of law (17 balanced budget years as Executive Director of Regional or Statewide Legal Services Programs & almost 6 years as a Public Defender) I have the comprehensive experience to identify and ameliorate most structural or institutional mistreatment of marginalized populations. Check out our WEBSITE and its embedded Social Media connections at: WilliamsHouseUSA.com
6. PCD: Coming out of 2021, wherein NC garnered over $400 million from film projects, should North Carolina take steps to strengthen the industry, such as improving grants?
MW: N.C. should return to the status quo ante — previously existing status — in its policies and funding levels that existed before the draconian changes implemented by the poohbahs in Raleigh subsequent to 2012. They altered the structure and diminished the film industry’s importance for ill-advised and skeptical, social engineering purposes.
7. PCD: How far should the state go to attract companies and promote economic development?
MW: See #1 & #5.
8. PCD: What needs to be done to address PFAs and other chemicals that are poisoning multiple states’ drinking water?
MW: Restore the State agency, now entitled the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality, back to the august monitoring of the former N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources. There is, in my opinion, a direct causal connection between the changes that were forced on the former agency just before the name change AND our current environmental maladies. News reports illuminated that between 40 and 50 per cent of the air and water professional monitoring positions were eliminated pursuant to the transition subsequent to 2012. Hundreds of thousands of $s in grants offered by the EPA for quality air and water monitoring were rejected. Enough said.
9. PCD: How does the state need to improve its flood resilience plan to prevent disaster scenarios, like Hurricane Florence’s aftermath?
MW: See #8
10. PCD: What are the top issues in our K-12 schools right now and how would you work to address it?
MW: My Mom was a second-grade teacher and talented musician. The parents, and I, will strategize and devise a methodology.
11. PCD: What resources do we need in place to continue to fight Covid-19? How should the U.S. prepare for a future pandemic?
MW: I’ll follow the science. Elect me and we will converse! In any event, we should keep intact the infrastructure resources and staff positions to stand ready to respond to future challenges and maintain ongoing vigilance.
12. PCD: Where do you stand on the decriminalization of marijuana? Explain.
MW: If it’s legal anywhere in the U.S., it should be treated equally by the criminal justice system everywhere. Stringent fines could be imposed as alternatives to criminal sanctions. In any event, medical marijuana definitely should be legalized in N.C.
13. PCD: What industries should the US be honing in on to create a better workforce and economy?
See #5, above.
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