Steven Brown is a candidate for Hampton 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: Steven Brown
Race: Hampton City Council
Website: Steve Brown for Hampton City Council
Biography: Steven L. Brown is a native of Hampton. He attended the Hampton City Schools system, graduating from Pembroke High School and then received a B.A. and M.A. degree in Biblical studies from Carolina University of Theology. He is married to Terry A. McCallum Brown and has two adult sons.
Brown has been involved in making Hampton a place where people live, invest, work, and raise their families for well over 40 years, serving on many boards and commissions as a volunteer. He is passionate about ensuring that Hampton is a destination for come here’s and those who live here.
He attributes his love for community involvement to his three mentors who were influential in mentoring him as a young man living in public housing. They were Joe Deprinzio, John H. Coleman, and Suzanne Jones. The inspiration for being in public service was the late Dr. Mary T. Christian who provided counsel, support, and mentorship as he sought public office in 2018.
Why should residents elect you to City Council?
I believe I am worthy of another term because I have delivered on the promises I made in 2018 to fully fund our Hampton school system grades K-12. I have worked with small businesses to expand and grow their business. I, along with my colleagues on council, have supported efforts to reduce flooding in our city. My efforts to revitalize downtown Hampton are now coming into fruition as construction has began on the transformation for our waterfront and downtown area.
I feel I have been responsive to our citizens and have worked to build a spirit of collaboration and teamwork on the Hampton City Council. Also I have supported our public safety employees by providing the resources needed to reduce crime and make Hampton a much safer community. I have more work to do and would be humbled to receive the support of the Hampton community on Nov. 8 as I continue what we started in 2018.
What are the top three priorities you would tackle if elected?
- I would like to focus more on workforce development and job creation by tapping into the wind and solar energy jobs that will help us reduce carbon omissions. I would like to promote the use of renewal energy as a way to reduce harmful chemicals and toxins that cause health issues in many of our communities. This will also help with revenue generation for our city.
- I will continue to work to reduce crime by asking our city to look at data-driven programs that will produce outcomes that show were we actually are reducing crime and make our neighborhoods safer. Its not enough to say crime is down. Show me your data that supports this statement.
- I want to also focus on expanding sports tourism in Hampton. We have the Boo Williams Sportsplex in Hampton but the focuses primarily is on AAU basketball. I want to expand this and look at soccer, field hockey, volley ball, track and field, football, etc. Hampton has a rich history of talent, but we should expand our vision and attract more tournaments and sporting events to help us produce new streams of revenue for our city.
What is the most pressing economic issue facing your community, and how would you address it?
I believe we are losing good staff and first responders because we are not paying a competitive wage. Even though we have made great strides, we still are behind some other localities in compensation and benefits. I believe we deal with this by closing the gap on compression by adjusting the pay scale step process and allow persons who are at the highest step additional steps so that we retain them. I also believe retention bonuses will help but we must ensure that a bonus is tied to a commitment to stay employed with the city.
Also because we are a 95% built-out city, I believe it becomes more difficult to attract major industry to our community unless we find a large tract of real estate for them to purchase and build on. We have very limited large parcels to build on and this is an economic challenge.
What are your community’s biggest infrastructure needs, and how do you plan to fulfill them?
Many of our school buildings need major overhauls, along with many of our streets and roads. I believe we combat this problem with roads by searching out funding sources through the state and VDOT, along with putting money in operations that will assist with both roads and school building maintenance. These projects are monumental and will take the will of council to keep chipping away at these projects one at a time. Also I believe we need to ask our representatives in the Virginia General Assembly to assist us in acquiring funds.
How is gun violence impacting your community, and how do you plan to address gun violence?
Gun violence is plaguing every community in America is some form or another, and Hampton is not exempt. I strongly believe we reduce gun violence when we teach our youth and adults to learn how to resolve conflict versus reacting by picking up a gun and settling your differences.
I believe it starts in the formative years of a young person’s life. If we instituted more program that are whole family focused we might move the needle more to reduce gun violence. Some Harvard studies tell us we need to be in homes before young people reach 8 years old.
The atrocity of gun violence is more prevalent amongst young black males. Homicides amongst young black males has become a national health crisis. We must implore our communities to take ownership of this gun violence issue and help us resolve it by reporting illegal gun purchases, working with the local authorities, and developing strategies that work.
No one wants to move into a community where gun violence is the order of the day. Gun violence stifles our economy, ruins neighborhoods, drives businesses away, and causes much grief to families. I will work tirelessly to find the resources to reduce gun violence in my community. This involves working with the churches, schools, police, neighborhoods, colleges, civic and social organizations, etc. its a community problem tat only the community can solve.