Name: Linda Bright
Biography: Linda Bright has worked on the Human Services Boards and Minority Business Council. She is the chair of the Rehabilitation Commission for the Governor, the president of the Epilepsy Foundation, the vice president of Patient Affairs, and the chair of Developmental Disabilities.
1. Why should residents elect you to City Council?
I come with more than 35 years of experience working in the community on Human Services Boards, Minority Business Council ( monitoring prime contracts, looking at increasing small women owned and minority owned businesses), Chair of the Rehabilitation Commission for the Governor, President of the Epilepsy Foundation for the state of Virginia (6 years) and currently the Vice-President of Patient Affairs, Chair of Developmental Disabilities. I create jobs in the city and have three businesses, Virginia Beach, Norfolk and Hampton. Main focus for the last few years is to get the homeless population off the streets, mental health individuals needing help to be stable in the community, drug users needing help and getting our citizens on insurance to receive medical care. I am familiar with working with the budget from many years of training in MBC and listening to the city staff reviewing what is needed and operational techniques. Some of my studies is Urban Planning, Psychology, Criminal Justice (wrote the hiring procedures for the police department in Fort Lauderdale, Florida). Grew up in a home where I had my first business at age 12, two acres of land and hired the people to work the land. My parents owned three businesses and were licensed Plumbers and Construction Contractors; so I heard all the work language and was familiar with operational procedures before I wanted to know it but it ended up not so bad for me through the years. I created numerous programs for the city as a supervisor, wrote the first long term care plan to work with people with disabilities and my plan was used to train others throughout the state of Virginia. Worked at the White House in 2012 with President Obama, Valarie Jarrett and other staff on the Fiscal Cliff for a day. I shared with them how Virginia Beach monitor the contracts in our city and they asked me to stay back so they could understand the concept better, it was an awesome experience. These individuals that were part of the leaders in that meeting were very smart.
2. What is the most pressing issue facing your community, and how would you address that issue?
The most pressing issues in our community is addressing the homeless, mental illness and flooding. I purchased a property for the homeless and have a company that provides mental health skill building for our individuals. I lost a car during Mathew and more than 70 thousand of dollars of damages to my home. Our budget can accommodate the flooding resolution a starting with the most severe areas in our city. We need to bring someone from outside to give training to our staff here first and move forward.
3. Where do you stand on raising taxes to balance your locality’s budget?
Raising taxes with a reasonable formula to all except our seniors and disabled individuals.
4. What’s your plan to reduce crime?
We need to take advantage of what we have in place now!! The cameras we have all over our city can be used to monitor entries into neighborhood, their frequency, there are many ways to see exits etc. We have a very smart crew in public utilities and our police department.
5. What are your community’s biggest infrastructure needs, and how do you plan to fulfill them.
We need a plan in plan to address the flooding and water raise.
6. What businesses and industries would you try to attract to your community?
We need a year round city to attract our young here and individuals that would enjoy winter vacations. Upscale theaters and market. Market our hotels for actors and actresses to come here for filming and bring their groups. We have a beautiful city for filming and our nature is divine.