John “JP” Paige is a candidate for Norfolk 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 “JP” Paige
Race: Norfolk City Council
Biography: John E. “JP” Paige is representative of a new generation of leadership in Norfolk. A U.S. Air Force veteran, service to America was on-the-job training in planning, efficiency, and execution. It is where Paige learned to feed off the energy and synergy of others. Whether it was business, civic, or charity, service has been a mission, if not a passion, of the Paige family. Service has always been the base of the family tree.
Paige excels in building strategic alliances. When we are all invested in success, everyone shares in the victory. A savvy specialist in organization management, planning, and marketing, Paige is the owner and manager of a successful bail bonding company.
Paige’s career in public service began as an adjunct professor at his alma mater, Norfolk State University, the the Going Places program in Portsmouth, where he recruited, trained, and developed employed opportunities within the hospitality industry. He would later return to the Norfolk campus of NSU as director of students services for the School of Business.
Paige was born in the Virgin Islands and moved with his mother to her hometown of Norfolk at a very early age. Along with his family, Paige worshipped at the Historic Basilica of St. Mary’s of the Immaculate Conception in Norfolk.
As a teen, Paige excelled in basketball and played for high school programs in Norfolk. In 1989, he earned a general education diploma and joined the Air Force Reserve. After completing his military training, he attended NSU and majored in hotel/restaurant management. He also joined the Epsilon Zeta Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated. While matriculating at NSU, he was selected for active duty and served in Operation Desert Shield. In 1998, he obtained his mater of science in management from Troy State University.
Paige is a lifetime member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. and an active member of the Norfolk Alumni Chapter. He has received national awards for his leadership in Guide Right, Kappa’s youth initiative providing mentoring, college preparation, and tutoring. He was appointed to the provincial Social Action and Guide Right, gaining national attention for his success with these programs. Paige served the Norfolk Alumni Chapter as the Guide Right director for five years. Most recently here in Norfolk, Paige has been working with community leaders, stakeholders, and organizations to help stop the acts of violence on the streets of Norfolk.
Paige is a son, brother, nephew, husband, father, and grandfather. He and his wife, Djuana E.H. Paige, reside in the Middletown Arch community. Serving the community and leadership are in his blood; his great-great-grandfather, R.G.L. Paige, served in the House of Delegates (1871-1875 and 1879-1882) and was possibly the first African American lawyer in Norfolk. One way or another, serving people is Paige’s mission.
Why should residents elect you to City Council?
I have a diverse skill set developed through my experience as an entrepreneur and resident of Norfolk that make me uniquely qualified for the times in which we live. The issues we face in Ward 4 will only be resolved through the work of those who know the people in our community and who are dedicated to building bridges between the people and city leaders.
As a bail bondsman, I have worked with members of our community during times when they were most in need. In doing so, I gained an intimate understanding of the particular needs of our citizens. I also witnessed the impact that poverty has on our community and how its undercurrent continues to pull people further from opportunity.
In my line of work, I have seen the positive changes that opportunity can bring. Most importantly, I have seen what is required to provide access to opportunities, and I will work endlessly to do so as a councilman. I know that by providing access to opportunity we can bring the types of changes necessary for us to become a better community as a whole.
I am here to serve the people of Ward 4, and I will do so diligently. I will lead in the way that city council was intended: Where the councilman is not above the people, but for the people and with the people, working to build a better community.
What are the top three priorities you would tackle if elected?
My priorities as an elected leader within the city of Norfolk will be:
- Violence: I will work to engage city leaders and city residents in addressing the underlying causes of the ever-increasing violence in our city.
- Education: I will work to improve our schools by supporting our teachers and working to ensure that our city invests in its education system.
- Flooding/infrastructure: I will work with city leaders to build a sea wall to protect our residents.
What is the most pressing economic issue facing your community, and how would you address it?
The most pressing economic issues plaguing our communities exist because of the formation of concentrated areas of poverty created by an unequal distribution of economic opportunity. I will address this issue head-on by implementing programs and partnerships that create more opportunities for those who reside in areas of our city where investment has been low.
I will accomplish this by:
- Obtaining funding for businesses that will be run by those who live in communities with low economic opportunity
- Developing programs to provide preparation for self-sufficiency
- Working to directly address the issue of food deserts in Ward 4
There are many factors that have contributed to the socio-economic issues within our city; however, access to opportunity is one factor that I will take direct action to address.
What are your community’s biggest infrastructure needs, and how do you plan to fulfill them?
The infrastructure needs of Ward 4 include the need for water pumping stations, repairs to roads, and the expansion of broadband internet access. One of the major issues that can’t be ignored when considering infrastructure needs in Norfolk is the issue of equity in the implementation of improvements.
As the city moves forward with measures to build up our infrastructure, it is important to make sure that efforts to improve air quality are made in Ward 4 where neighborhoods are adjacent to industrial facilities. Also included in the equitable distribution of improvement is the need to position the planned sea wall so that it provides adequate protection for Ward 4.
I will work with the department of public works to ensure that Ward 4 is included in the city’s plan for improvement, and that distributed federal dollars are used where appropriate to address these needs. I will do so while leaving room to address the concerns identified by those who are most qualified to speak to the needs of this community – the people of Ward 4.
How is gun violence impacting your community, and how do you plan to address gun violence?
Gun violence is a public safety concern, as well as a public health concern. We must be able to keep all of our citizens safe, especially our children and our seniors. Our children are aware of the dangers they face and are often compelled to use guns to protect themselves, perpetuating the shootings that we are currently experiencing in Ward 4 and throughout Norfolk.
We need real and inclusive dialogue with the community, and it must involve those who have experienced violence, those who have practiced violence, and those who have not. We must be inclusive in our approach so that we can address underlying issues and begin to heal so that Ward 4 can be a safe place in which its citizens can focus on thriving and not just surviving.