John Williams

Candidate for WV House of Delegates District 51

Morgantown/Kingwood Branch of the NAACP 2020 Questionnaire

A. How do you plan to improve access to health care and public health information for minority communities in West Virginia? 

I have been told by minority friends that there is a long history of mistrust of the healthcare system from people of color, due to bad experiences in the past. We must ensure that all healthcare is equitable and inclusive throughout the state. Additionally I feel that incentivizing healthcare professionals to stay in the state would help in our ability to ensure that all West Virginians receive healthcare.

B. In what ways should police departments and bystanding police officers be held accountable for their officers’ violent acts and misconduct?

I believe that all police departments of any University, County, or Political Subdivision in the state of WV should be required to have body cams. I also believe that citizen review boards would be helpful, granted, that law enforcement officers be given every reasonable opportunity to explain their side of the story, and they should also be granted reasonable opportunity for an appeal.

C. In what ways have you fought discrimination that targeted people of color either in the workplace or in the community?

I had the privilege of matriculating through what I feel is the most culturally diverse school path in the state-North Elementary, Suncrest Middle, then Morgantown High School. I have always been surrounded by people from diverse backgrounds. When I was in student government in college, I worked closely with the Muslim Student Association in helping them secure space for awareness events. In the legislature I have fought for equality, and pushed back against legislation that would harm minorities. In terms of lasting, meaningful equality, it is my belief that many solutions that are discussed are going to merely treat the symptoms of an unequal society. I believe that to effect lasting change, we must ensure that people of color are granted the same economic opportunities as their white counterparts. One solution to that is a state bank, which would make it easier for people of color to get seed capital to start new business ventures. I have been, and will continue to be an advocate for a state bank in West Virginia.  

D. What actions will you take against voter suppression?

I believe that automatic voter registration needs to become a reality, and I also support vote by mail initiatives. The casting of votes by our citizenry is fundamental to the democratic process working in a fair, representative and equitable manner.

E. Do you support the following bills, which have been introduced in the WV legislature?