With the goal of keeping local parents (and voters) as informed as possible about all things parent-related, the editors of Rocket City Mom compiled “4 Questions for the Candidates”. We asked all the Huntsville City and Madison City candidates to answer the same four questions, and have published their responses unedited and as they have sent them to us.
Get to know a little about each candidate and where they stand on serving local families in our full Know Your Vote series. We encourage all of our readers to exercise their democratic right and vote on Tuesday, August 25, 2020.
4 Questions with Andy Woloszyn
Q. What do you see as the top three most pressing issues facing Huntsville today? What are your plans to address those issues?
Demilitarize police and reallocate much of police funding to community response resources. We need to strengthen the city’s police oversight committee’s powers and remove HPD appointment power on that committee. I plan to replace the current police chief with a black officer who supports reform and a change in approach. We also need to make body camera footage public and accessible. It’s also important to mandate deescalation training, transparency, and anti-racist training for all HPD officers.
Workers’ rights need to be a focus, and the city can lead by example. I plan to prioritize raising minimum wage for city employees to $15/hour and require employers holding city government contracts to pay a minimum of $15/hour. I think it’s also important to provide healthier work options, especially mid-Covid-19, by allowing city employees the choice to work from home.
Prioritize marginalized communities – work toward the goal of all Huntsvillians benefiting from growth, not just the privileged few. I’ll work toward creating a plan for universal healthcare coverage for Huntsville residents by working with the Huntsville Hospital system. We also need to expand public transit options and increase bicycle infrastructure to improve access to various parts of the city and at the same time reduce the city’s carbon footprint. Importantly, we also need to make sure our LGBTQ community receives equal protection and equal justice.
Q. Why do you believe you are the right person for this office?
As a Huntsville native, I want to serve all Huntsville residents, not just the wealthy and powerful. I’m not tied down by corporate connections – our campaign has been funded entirely by individual donations. In fact, our average contribution is $65. I have over a decade of experience in activism that includes anti-racist work, environmental justice, and workers rights. By employing progressive policies, I believe we can face and overcome the flaws revealed in our economic and healthcare systems to provide for the needs of the many over the needs of the few. I have a strong history of community organizing, focusing on anti-racist, environmental, and worker’s rights advocacy. I have the interest of the everyday people at heart and the skills to serve them.
Q. What will you do differently than the incumbent?
While the current city government has effectively served a percentage of the municipal population, it has long overlooked the disregarded and disadvantaged in our community. It’s vital we prioritize serving low-income, minority, and marginalized communities. We cannot move forward to be the true Star of Alabama without serving all of Huntsville.
Q. What is your overall vision/mission when it comes to families living in your city? What are your ideas about how to best serve them specifically?
Practically all the areas on our platform benefit Huntsville families, just in different ways. Improving life for the large majority of Huntsville residents will of course better life for families, too.
New initiatives throughout our platform, especially in education, would make life better for families with children – free school lunches for all students, fair teacher wages to ensure quality education, advocating for strong fundamentals, and working closely with the school board to support their initiatives would all improve education and wellbeing within Huntsville’s families.
Ceasing felony-level prosecution for cannabis possession will keep parents, and even teens, out of jail, instead allowing them to be with their families where they belong.
In addition, prioritizing workers’ rights and improving public transit options would help all Huntsville residents and benefit families greatly.
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Rocket City Mom is a website about raising children in and around Huntsville, Alabama. Started in late 2010 by a local mom and newcomer to Huntsville, Rocket City Mom has grown into a thriving community of local parents and now boasts a staff of four, thirteen regular contributors, and tens of thousands of Tennessee Valley readers making it the #1 Parenting Resource in North Alabama.