John Andrews is a candidate for Virginia Beach City Council. His name will appear on the ballot on Nov. 8, 2022.
10 On Your Side reached out to all of the candidates running in this race. If you do not see a candidate listed with a profile, we did not receive one.
See who is on your ballot by viewing the candidate lists on the Virginia Department of Elections website.
Name: John Andrews
Race: Virginia Beach City Council
Biography: John S. Andrews was raised in the Little Neck area of Virginia Beach where he attended King’s Grant Elementary School and First Colonial High School. He then attended Virginia Tech where he received his degree in the hospitality management industry. After working several years, Andrews decided to dedicate his life to service. He joined the U.S. Navy via the Aviation Officer Candidate School program and earned his wings flying in the E-2C Hawkeye.
throughout his 30-year Naval career, Andrews was stationed several times at the Norfolk Naval Air Station, Washington D.C., Memphis, and San Diego. He made seven extended carrier deployments, did a yearlong tour in Iraq with the U.S. Army, and flew in support of combat operations in Afghanistan where he was awarded a Bronze Star. He also received two Legions of Merit and the Defensive Meritorious Service Medal.
In between deployments, he received a master’s degree from the Naval War College. After transitioning from military service, he worked as the special assistant to the city manager for Veteran Services and Military Affairs for the city of Norfolk, focusing on workforce development and public-private partnership liaison.
He served as a board member for Opportunity Inc One-Stop workforce Center and the Norfolk NATO Festival. He led the Military Economic Development Advisory Committee and was the Norfolk representative for the Hampton Roads Military and Federal Facilities Alliance. He currently serves as a program manager for Military Sealift Command.
He is married to Martha Owen and lives in the Chelsea area of Great Neck. He has four children in a combined family and three grandchildren.
Why should residents elect you to City Council?
I have a range and depth of experience in education, military experience, government experience, and community experience, that no other candidate provides that will allow me to immediately serve effectively on Virginia Beach City Council.
I was raised in the district, went to school in the district, and raised my children in the district. My mother, sister, and wife were all public educators, and I have first-hand experience and insight into the strengths and challenges of our public schools.
I worked for several years in hospitality management, both locally and nationally, and have in-depth experience with tourism – a major driver of our economy.
I served with distinction for 30 years in the Navy and still maintain a strong and unique relationship with them. With the Navy being one of our city’s largest employers, I believe that is extremely important.
I have worked in municipal government, so I know the requirements of managing a large city and appreciate the dynamics of city council interactions.
I have an extensive network of regional connections, have served on several regional boards, and am a graduate of LEAD Hampton Roads. Most importantly, I have lived a life of service guided by an oath to the Constitution which I have always believed in.
I look forward to serving the citizens of Virginia Beach with an oath of commitment to them.
What are the top three priorities you would tackle if elected?
- Strong support for critical public services including schools, police, fire, emergency services, and Virginia Beach city staff. We must provide fair and equal pay and benefits so that we can retain qualified and experienced professionals in our city work force; and ensure that our city employees are working in a safe and supportive work environment.
- The health and viability of our waterways – one of our largest and most valuable assets – along with the rest of our city’s infrastructure. These all go hand-in-hand. We need to ensure that the city’s infrastructure is properly maintained, replaced, and rebuilt as required. Infrastructure issues are so vital to our day-to-day living in so many ways: traffic, utilities, roads, bridges, stormwater maintenance, waste management, dredging, beach maintenance, snow removal and others. These are the important concerns that people deal with every single day. When maintained and done correctly, we provide a higher standard of living that invites people to make Virginia Beach their home and encourages those already here to continue to make this their home. Our waterways are just as important and are a major attraction for others and an asset to our quality of life as a city. They are an equal and vital part of our infrastructure. We need to ensure that these resources are protected, managed wisely, safely, and accessible for all.
- Smart economic development. We need to focus on our strengths and opportunities to diversify our economic environment. That means developing and recruiting major businesses to be here. That means developing an educated and skilled workforce that attracts businesses and do so in a sustainable and intelligent manner. When we do that, our tax base expands and which allows us more funds to do the things we want most: maintain our infrastructure, provide the needed funding for a first-class education system, while keeping taxes low for all residents and homeowners.
What is the most pressing economic issue facing your community, and how would you address it?
A limited, skilled workforce. The two-pronged approach we must take is:
- Support and provide teachers and schools with the money and resources they need to train and educate our students – both academically and vocationally – to fill that vital need for a skilled and learned workforce.
- Develop stronger economic development by doing our very best to encourage new businesses to our city, while promoting expansion, and support to our existing businesses.
It’s simple: a well-trained and well-educated workforce entices business to our city; businesses come here and provide jobs; employees provide the business with the skills the business needs to succeed and provide to our tax base; and employees have an income that allows them to grow and contribute to our local economy.
What are your community’s biggest infrastructure needs, and how do you plan to fulfill them?
Two of our biggest are school buildings and stormwater. Many of our public school buildings have aged beyond intended use and need to be replaced. We need to make a realistic effort to deal with this issue. Having schools that are safe and have the latest technology is just as imperative as a 21st Century curriculum.
We’ve taken a needed first step with the passage of the stormwater referendum. It’s important that city council continue to move forward with this effort by providing the needed direction and funds to take care of our entire city’s stormwater needs.
I think the city needs to continue its efforts to deal with stormwater flooding and sea level rise issues.
How is gun violence impacting your community, and how do you plan to address gun violence?
I realize that this issue elicits a broad number of suggestions and solutions, usually in an emotional environment. My biggest concern, however, is allowing people who have serious mental and emotional problems to possess firearms. Currently, there are few, if any, safeguards in place that restrict them from owning firearms. I believe that everyone on both sides of the guns issue agree this is a clear and present danger to our society.
I have seen and read about countless examples of this continuing problem, as well as my personal experience. A close relative was not able to pass background checks and as a result, could not buy a weapon in a store. But gun shows and online purchases? No problem! And he did just that – many times.
As a member of City Council, I would vote for measures that closed such loopholes in the legislative recommendations sent forth by the city of Virginia Beach to the Virginia General Assembly. Police and other public safety officials support this issue, and I believe it is one of the utmost importance. It won’t solve every gun crime, but it is a vital first step in reducing gun crimes.