Building a Stronger Newport News

City Hall

Our residents deserve a City Hall that can readily provide services to meet their needs. This begins with establishing clear communication through the appointment of essential leadership and accessible updated information on our city website. Modernized and responsive mechanisms on an updated interface will encourage residents to know they have our support.

Accomplishments
  • Appoint Chief Innovation Officer – Create a position to identify areas of innovation and growth. Leverage industry best practices to implement smart technologies across city departments
  • Update City Website – Maximize User Experience (UX) by offering a user-friendly design that allows citizens the ability to accomplish most actions on the internet instead of traveling to City Hall
  • Establish Mayor’s Town Hall monthly in every district on a rotating basis to ensure transparency and open dialogue
  • Invest in the Public Affairs Office to ensure maximum community engagement via social media channels and external marketing initiatives
Priorities
  • Establish Mayor Action Center to streamline the permit process and online service with an interactive live tracker
  • Conduct an audit on each department to look for opportunities and synergies to maximize efficiency
  • Leverage Center for Innovative Technologies (CIT) funding to focus on community-driven innovation and build/develop innovative city initiatives
  • Broadcast City Council work sessions to maximize transparency, communication, and accountability

Education

Equity within our education system is only the start of strengthening the minds of our city’s youth. Implementing programs that empower educators and propel students to achieve higher education regardless of zip code is one of my key initiatives. Continued communication between the School Board and the City Council are empowering factors that enhance the curriculum and inspire our educators to continue bringing everything they have to the table to uplift our youth.
Accomplishments
  • Strengthen ties between Newport News and the higher education community – Ensure that children can leverage the resources of local community colleges and universities
  • Expand workforce development opportunities to ensure students are well equipped to compete in a global economy
Priorities
  • 100% of schools are accredited regardless of zip code – Children are the future of our city, and we need to ensure that all schools in all districts are accredited
  • Establish and broadcast quarterly joint sessions between School Board and City Council. Consistent collaboration will be essential to achieving our 5 and 10 year strategic vision

Public Safety

I have sought to implement measures and programs to keep our community safe in crisis and in response to violence. Residents should live with the assurance that their health, safety, and welfare are as much a priority to me as it is to them. I intend to implement programs and reallocate funds to support community safety.
Accomplishments
  • Expand the Community Assistance Response (CARE) program to ensure that mental health and crisis specialists can serve as co-first responders.
Priorities
  • Utilize data and the internet of things (IoT) to share data pools during emergencies and incident response
  • Ensure our pay for law enforcement officers remain competitive with adjacent localities
  • Ensure our Fire Department has the vehicles and equipment necessary to ensure coverage of the entire city – no brownouts or blackouts
  • Support violence interrupter programming to halt the cycle of violence before it starts. Leverage community change agents to connect individuals to supportive services.

Economic Development

Newport News is nearly 120 square miles. With our size and depth, I know and am committed to investing in a culture that drives businesses forward and encourages our entrepreneurs to propel Newport News to a place where we can compete with other cities.
Accomplishments
  • Increase resources to our Small Business Toolkit to ensure they can access capital through grants
Priorities
  • Develop relations to ensure that we can attract Fortune 1000 headquarters in the next four years. This will allow us to cement our status as the economic engine of Hampton Roads
  • Invest in a culture that values startups and provides resources –while ensuring that our pre existing businesses are given the tools and support they need from City Hall
  • Develop an incubation center on the Peninsula to help small businesses grow and succeed in competitive markets. With the proximity of Jefferson
  • Lab, we need to focus on supporting the development of emerging technology and life science businesses.
  • Develop programming to incentivize remote workers to relocate to Newport News. Leverage bonuses to target tech workers, digital nomads, and young families.

Health and Human Services

Access to affordable housing is a challenge I intend to face head-on. The foundation of a person’s hierarchy of needs begins with security in their shelter and addressing concerns about their access to health resources. Through establishing a homelessness task force and targeted workshops, we will take the steps necessary to secure a solid footing toward building their foundation.
Accomplishments
  • Establish a homelessness task force to unite partners and resources; focused on moving people into permanent housing with supportive services
  • Increase access to homeownership through targeted workshops and pre-existing community organizations
Priorities
  • Ensure that communities have access to fresh fruit and vegetables by investing in mobile food markets and cooperatives
  • Aim that every citizen lives no more than 15 min from fresh food, transportation, wellness centers, and healthcare facilities

Infrastructure and Transportation

Barriers to public transportation are also barriers to connecting with healthcare, education, and economic opportunity. Promoting a connection to our city’s downtown and uptown areas from many neighborhoods and prioritizing access to the airport is part of my improvement plan for our transportation systems.

Priorities
  • Prioritize commercial air service development by exploring relationships with low-cost carrier airlines
  • Explore feasibility of point-to-point contracts for the regional airport – travel to travel destinations < 500 miles
  • Improve public transportation through innovative investments in micro-transit – small-scale on-demand public transit that can accommodate flexible routes
  • Ensure all bus stops are covered to protect riders from the elements
  • Prioritize the creation of an arts district to enhance the city’s culture. Newport News has a unique and distinctive culture. We need a district that reflects our history and story.

Support Phillip Jones

Let’s Build Newport News Into a World-Class City