After 6th Ward council member Rikke Van Johnson announced that he would vacate his seat representing the citizens of the 6th ward, four candidates have began vying to replace him. After reviewing the potential candidates, I have evaluated them on past and current experiences and current involvement and knowledge of the city’s problems to help the people of the 6th Ward and the city as a whole.
Over the past several years, Roxanne Williams has been involved in the community and city by speaking out on the current problems facing the city. I know this firsthand because I have seen her present before the council and saw her at the City Charter Review Committee Meetings. She really wants to help save the city.
Roxanne’s concerns and solutions for our recovery extend to our children through her professional experience with the San Bernardino Unified School District. Roxanne has also raised five well-trained children of her own. She is well educated with two college degrees and currently serves on the parks and recreation commission. This shows commitment to our community
Roxanne has a vision to restore pride to the Westside of town and bring it into the general financial and economic growth plan of the city. That can only happen with the support and respect of other colleagues on the council, which comes from a shared broader vision for the city.
Roxanne is very articulate and does her homework on the various issues facing the city.
As for candidate Anthony Jones, in 2013 the Police union withdrew its endorsement of him. One issue that derailed Anthony’s bid then was his performance in an offensive rap video when he ran for the 4th Ward city council seat. My question to Anthony is have you learned anything from that experience? And if so, what did you learn that will help you provide the required leadership in making public policy for the people in the 6th Ward and the city?
In my opinion his past actions demonstrate a lack of maturity and poor judgment, which is not the kind of representation we want on the council as a face for the city. My suggestion to Anthony is, if you want to be a musical artist then you should pursue that as a career not as a representative of the people.
Candidate Bessine Littlefield Richard says she wants to restore the community voice in the 6th Ward but she has been an absent voice for as many years as she has been in the city. She is a native of San Bernardino and has done well with her education, career, and raising a family of four children, but little in the community. While none of those things are a prerequisite for office it does speak volumes to ones understanding of community issues. And now that she has been endorsed by the Firefighters Association, it tells me she has her marching orders to do the biding of people who do not even live in the city.
Rafael Rawls is a also a lifelong resident of the Westside but has not been seen by many as community-involved even though he has worked on the staff of Congressman Joe Baca as a field representative. He states he is a community servant and advocate for economic empowerment and social justice for youth and families. However he is short on having any evidence to demonstrate that statement to show he can accomplish those goals. Rafael currently works as an adjunct faculty at Argosy University in Ontario. He has great potential but needs to demonstrate community service experience to fully understand the issues facing the people if he wants to lead and serve.
It is in my opinion the Best Choice for the voter’s of the 6th Ward is Roxanne Williams.