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 Maurice Shingleton, Jr.
Q. What do you see as the top three most pressing issues facing Huntsville today? What are your plans to address those issues?
Justice Reform – Police should serve as guardians in our community and recognize us as equals, but the actions taken against their fellow citizens were both reckless and irresponsible. Our goal is to reform the police department to prioritize “protecting and serving” through a number of measures including ending qualified immunity, increasing accountability and transparency concerning body camera utilization, and investigating collaboration with social workers, especially in cases regarding mental health crises. The first step toward achieving this goal is the removal of Chief McMurray and replacing him with a chief who respects the needs and wishes of our community.
Education – I am working on finding ways for our school systems to better provide basic needs for their students and proper funding for faculty. I fully support trade school initiatives, and would work with all businesses in securing agreements that would aid our students in joining our workforce. Additionally, I would hope to also be able to provide funding and assistance to support our college students, so they can better focus and acclimate to life beyond high school.
Community Development – I believe the city should provide more efficient transportation, public housing, and community projects. I would also like to find more ways to support local businesses by incorporating them in city functions, seeking promotion opportunities, and developing programs aimed to address areas of need. From child care deficits to financial instability, 2020 has shown us and will likely continue to show us the need for community attention, and I aim to address these needs to the fullest extent possible on a municipal level.
Q. Why do you believe you are the right person for this office?
Our current leadership has been ignoring the needs of our citizens. I have spent my life learning and understanding many cultures in order to better understand my neighbor, and I have served many of our neighbors living in unacceptable conditions. Furthermore, every plank in my platform I have derived from my own personal experiences, and I strive to learn from the experience of others as I work to better our communities.
Q. What will you do differently than the incumbent?
Taking immediate action on local problems facing our city such as police brutality, poverty, and symbols of division. From failing to remove the courthouse statue and ignoring calls for the resignation of Chief McMurray, to the shuttering of public schools and replacement of viable public housing projects with luxury development, for the past twelve years, Mayor Battle has consistently plastered a shiny edifice over a cracked foundation. Without addressing the core problems that run through our city, those cracks will only continue to grow.
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?
My overall vision for Huntsville is to create a system that addresses the needs of both our communities and individuals. Too many families find themselves spending more time working and struggling to survive when our city should be addressing the barriers that block them from achieving their goals. I truly want Huntsville to become a star of the South.
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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.