Q: Address: A: P.O. Box l005 Lumberton, N.C. 28359
Q: How long have you lived in North Carolina? A: Born and raised in Lumberton; 44 of 56 years spent in N.C.
Q: Family A: Knee baby of six children, and third son of Army Master Sergent Russell Williams and Second Grade School Teacher Sadie Williams.
Q: Education: A: Lumberton Senior High School, BA from UNC Chapel Hill and JD from the University of Minnesota Law School.
Q: Previous political experience: A: President of the Student Body of Lumberton Senior High School, President of the Student Body at UNC Chapel Hill, President of the Student Body of the University of Minnesota Law School, 2008 Candidate for the U.S. Senate, several other statewide campaigns including the l992 run for Governor (finished 3rd out of 5: Gov.Hunt, then Atty. Gen. Lacy Thornburg, Marcus Williams, former speaker of the House - Joe Mavretic, one other person)
Q: Previous professional experience: A: Attorney At Law for over 30 years, licensed in Minnesota, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. Former CEO/Executive Director of Legal Services of the Coastal Plains based in Ahoskie (covering eleven northeastern rural counties), former CEO/Executive Director of Legal Services of the Lower Cape Fear (covering seven southeastern rural/urban mixed counties),and former CEO/Executive Director of Pennsylvania Legal services (covering statewide, all 67 counties in, at that time, the fifth largest state in the nation). Former member of UNC-Wilmington Board of Trustees from l994 through May, 200l. Current President of Judicial District l6B of the N.C. State Bar and President of the Robeson County Bar Association.
Q: Community, Political and Religious organizations in which you are involved: A: Board of Directors of the Friends of the Robeson County Library.
Q: Your campaign website address: A: NowWeShall.com
Q: Why are you running for U.S. Senate? A: I am running for the U.S. Senate to bring meaningful change to the political process by restoring merit-based decision making, a respectful discourse and a substantive focus - devoid of the undue influence of partisan cronyism, lobbyists, special interests and/or the super rich - to enhance the quality of life for all of the people of North Carolina.
Q: What are the greatest challenges facing people who live in North Carolina and what would you do to address those challenges that would make voters choose you? A: The greatest challenge facing North Carolinians is the job shortage crisis. There are not enough jobs and there is a dearth of good jobs available. I would immediately undertake efforts to create a more robust, job producing economy, with a primary emphasis on targeted pools of venture capital, grants and low interest loans for the initiation and/or expansion of small businesses. A second component of this priority is to attract high wage and high skill jobs into N.C. Working with State and Local officials, I would serve as a lightning rod and we would collaborate to identify clean industries to inveigle into our State. Third, we must inspire all unemployed citizens to examine the range of options for retraining and reinventing themselves to enable them to take advantage of the new green economy and other emerging technological or new job opportunities. For the longer term, it is imperative for us to balance the federal budget and commence the process of diminishing the monstrous federal deficit.
Q: What are the first changes you would work to implement if you are elected? A: The first change I would work to implement has been stated.
Q: What prior experience do you have that best prepares you for this office? A: Twenty seven years of public interest advocacy, out of thirty years of practicing law provide an eminently sound foundation to serve as a U.S. Senator. First, I have garnered the keenest understanding of the life circumstances of the average North Carolinian and by virtue of multitude of situations in which I fought for peoples' rights, I have honed an excellent skill set to effectively serve all of the people. On all of the issues salient in this economic crisis, I am capable of making a significant difference. For example, I am the only candidate for the U.S. Senate who has fought successfully to save family farms and family residences. Second, seventeen years of balancing budgets, assures that I have the discipline and the experience to successfully evaluate and implement discipline with respect to the allocation of federal funds. Third, I have vast experience in supervising staffs whose function was to provide high quality legal services to people at the time they needed it most. This will assure comprehensive oversight of the constituent services to be provided by a staff of the best and brightest minds from across N.C., which I will recruit and synchronize.
Q: What is the toughest criticism you think you will face in this election, and what is your response to that criticism? A: The toughest criticism I face in this election is that I don't have the financial resources of some of the other candidates. However, in this digital age, we will prove that the best substantive message, when strategically disseminated and coupled with an assiduous work ethic, will prevail.
The three priorities upon election to office are those previously mentioned in my discussion of the generation or creation of jobs.
Although the process evidenced multiple flaws, I would have voted for the health care bill. N.C. was leading the nation from 2007-2009 in the percentage of losing health coverage. The medicaid rate of increase exceeded 20 percent last year. It was imperative to control cost and implement changes which afforded coverage to each citizen and which rectified the glaring harmful practices engendered by the insurance industry. Yes, there should be no life time cap, no rescission once a major illness is identified, no disqualification for coverage due to a preexisting condition, and no barring of children on the policy of parents until age 26.
Since the U.S. is unique in its law which specifies that anyone born in the U.S. is a U.S. citizen, we must examine our options in that context. To avoid splitting up families, there should be a firm and reasonable policy to develop a pathway towards earning citizenship for those who did not enter illegally and who do not have criminal records. The operative inquiry is how did the individual gain access to the U.S. If laws were broken, there should be an adjudication and a sanction imposed. Depending on the disposition of the matter, that individual may be deported or given a longer pathway to earn citizenship, in the event U.S. citizen children are involved.
I previously discussed my immediate strategy for job creation. My approach is informed by my experience in Community Economic Development, which included the initiation of a successful Business Incubator and a Community Development Corporation in Wilmington. Please refer to my website: NowWeShall.com
The goals of the stimulus plan were laudable. It's full effect has yet to be felt.
What makes me the best candidate for the U.S. Senate? In addition to the previously mentioned keen understanding of the life circumstances of the average North Carolinian, my skill set and a unique, God given ability to gain and share the trust of other people, to bring them together and collaborate around a purpose, project or idea, makes me the best candidate.