Will "The Underdog" Richardson

GENERAL INFORMATION

Name: Will “The Underdog” Richardson

Candidate for: City Council District 7

Date of Birth: 01-20-1977

Occupation: Serial Entrepreneur

Educational Background:

    • High School: Central High 1994
    • College: UT Chattanooga 94-96
    • Masters/Ph.D (if applicable):

Family: Wife- LaTonia Richardson
Children -Joe, Willie 3rd, and Summer
Grandchild- Carter

Community Involvement: Philanthropist and Community Activist to numerous organizations throughout District 7.


WEBSITE/SOCIAL MEDIA

Official Campaign Website:

Facebook: facebook.com/letsdoittogether901


CANDIDATE SURVEY:

1. What background/experience distinguishes you from the other candidates who want voters to elect them?

Richardson ‘s response:

I’m a successful business owner for over 13 yrs. I know what it takes to run business successfully. I’m for the people. I can identify with those who have been overlooked, counted out, and not given a fair shake. I defeated the odds and want to motivate the district to do the same.

2. What are the top three issues facing the City of Memphis?

Richardson ‘s response:

Education
Crime
Tourism

3. What do you propose to address the three issues you rank as top priorities?

Richardson ‘s response:

We must bring VoTech back. Our youth and young adults need an alternative to college so they can leave High School and enter society with a skill set that will allow them to be productive.

Crime will lower if people are working jobs that have respectful wages. Reinstating police pensions and benefits along with retraining officers on sensitivity and ethics, and creating dialogue between citizen and cop will also aid in crime reduction.

Memphis is the 17th largest city in the country yet we don’t have a big tourism catalog. We need an amusement park, water park, etc. We must have more family oriented attractions and we need more to do other than Graceland and Beale Street.

4. Do you favor the call for a half-cent sales tax increase to restore healthcare and retirement benefits for police officers and firefighters cut in 2014?

Richardson ‘s response:

Absolutely! Our first responders are a critical piece to Memphis moving in the right direction. I believe the morale is low due to the current situation. We can’t afford to have people who are willing to put their lives on the line with low morale!

5. Do you think the local PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) program needs to be reformed? If so, why and how?

Richardson ‘s response:

Yes it needs to be reformed. We need stricter guidelines that will ensure that citizens of Memphis will receive the majority of these jobs and not our bordering neighbors ie Mississippi and Arkansas residents. We need these companies to provide training and certification so our citizens can benefit as well.

6. Do you see a risk of displacement and gentrification connected to the development boom in Memphis? If so, how would you address that risk from the position you seek?

Richardson ‘s response:

Yes there is a huge risk. Developers must ensure that affordable housing is available to our constituents. We must make sure we communicate with our communities of changes and plans , and they must be at the table of discussion so they understand and have ownership in the process. We must make sure that the culture and the history of that community is not removed. It’s nice to have improvements and fancy restaurants and amenities but if the citizens can only window shop and dream ,it’s indirect displacement and as Councilman I will not have it.

7. African-American-owned businesses have made up only 1 percent of all Memphis business receipts for several decades. If elected, do you see playing a role in changing that statistic? If so, what do you think that role would entail?

Richardson ‘s response:

Of course! I want to conduct informative meetings with our communities and develop incubators that will educate and empower the African American citizens on how to properly establish and run a successful business.