Phillip Jones is a candidate for Newport News mayor. His name will appear on the ballot on Nov. 8, 2022.
10 On Your Side reached out to all of the candidates running in this race. If you do not see the candidate listed with a profile, we did not receive one.
See who is on your ballot by viewing the candidate lists on the Virginia Department of Elections website.
Name: Phillip Jones
Race: Newport News Mayor
Website: Phillip Jones for Mayor
WAVY.com November 8 Voter Guide
Biography: Phillip Jones is a management consultant with a global firm, advising companies on strategy, marketing, organization, and operations across all industries.
He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy as a Burke Scholar and served on active duty in the Marine Corps for over six years. As an infantry officer, Jones was blessed to lead his Marines to support peacekeeping and security cooperation missions on multiple continents.
Jones completed his graduate course of studies at the Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School, where he served as a Tillman Scholar and co-president of the Veterans Club.
Jones serves as a planning commissioner for Newport News, on the board of directors for Habitat for Humanity Peninsula, and on the board of trustees for Virginia’s Veteran Services Foundation.
If elected, Jones would be the youngest African American mayor to serve the city of Newport News
Why should residents elect you to be Mayor?
I’m running for mayor because our city stands at a crossroads. We must be unified in our efforts to ensure that our schools are fully accredited, our economy supports small businesses, and our citizens feel secure.
I have spent my entire career bringing people together to accomplish challenging missions. As a Marine, I have stood shoulder to shoulder with people from all walks of life, races, and creeds to achieve the task. I’ll bring that mentality to City Hall.
After serving in the Marine Corps, I graduated from Harvard Business School. When I returned home, I began working with a management consulting firm to help businesses financially rebound from the pandemic and assist cities in developing innovative solutions to problems they face.
I’m committed to seeing Newport News reach its full potential, and I believe our city needs a fresh perspective to move boldly into the future.
What are the top three priorities you would tackle if elected?
My top priority is our children. I remain focused on fully funding our schools to ensure our children are well equipped to enter this rapidly changing world. Education gave me everything; I want the same for our children. We must invest in them.
Residents should also live with the assurance that their safety and welfare are as much a priority to me as it is to them. As mayor, I will seek to dedicate funds to implement measures to keep our community safe, such as supporting violence interrupter and mental health programming in response to violence in our city.
To reach these goals, we must fund the necessary education and public safety investments; we need to ensure that Newport News remains at the forefront of new technologies.
As our economy diversifies, we must leverage the talent at Christopher Newport University and Jefferson Labs to promote technology transfer and develop new commercial activities.
What is the most pressing economic issue facing your community, and how would you address it?
Our local economy heavily depends on Huntington Ingalls Shipyard and the military to subsidize our tax base. We must explore alternative ways to diversify our economy to avoid overreliance on industry or companies.
We need to invest 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.
To compete in a global economy, we need to do the following:
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.
Increase resources to our Small Business Toolkit to ensure they can access capital through grants.
Develop programming to incentivize remote workers to relocate to Newport News. Leverage bonuses to target tech workers, digital nomads, and young families.
What are you community’s most significant infrastructure needs, and how do you plan to fulfill them?
Additional investments in public transportation is one of the most significant needs for Newport News. Barriers to public transit 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.
We can improve public transportation through innovative micro, small-scale, and on-demand public transit investments that can accommodate flexible routes. Additionally, free and reduced bus fares supported by Hampton Roads Transit will open up opportunities for underserved populations.
Additionally, we must prioritize the transformation of the northern part of the city. The city has made significant investments to diversify our economy over the last decade, and we must ensure continued investment in all city areas.
How is gun violence impacting your community, and how do you plan to address gun violence?
Addressing gun violence in our community is near and dear to my heart. A family member of mine fell victim to senseless gun violence. Its effects extend beyond the borders of the city where it occurred and are still felt throughout my family.
Residents of Newport News should live with the assurance that their health, safety, and welfare are as much a priority to me as it is to them. This past summer, the city has seen several violent acts of gun violence. As a community, we must come together to address the root causes of violence and ensure that our youth can see an alternative path.
As mayor, I will seek to dedicate funds to implement measures to keep our community safe. I will continue actively supporting violence interrupter and mental health programming in response to violence in our city. As a gun sense candidate, I will advocate for evidence-based solutions that include community-based interventions such as workforce development and mentoring programs.
Recently, residents were given a 48-hour notice to vacate the Seaview Lofts after its owner failed to fix a myriad of serious issues reflected in failed city code inspections. How would you tackle such housing issues going forward?
Access to affordable housing is a challenge I intend to face head-on. Housing is a human right.
In the future, we need to hold out-of-state landlords better responsible for the welfare of their tenants. As a city staff, we need to enhance our communication with our citizens and ensure that this never happens again. All residents should know the Tenants’ Bill of Rights and their protections under state law.
As mayor, I will have an immediate “safety stand-down” and inspect the large apartment complexes across the city to compile a current list of discrepancies. The city must proactively hold landlords accountable for longstanding issues and pursue legal action when appropriate. Our residents deserve better, and we owe it to them to provide the best services possible.
Do you have a plan to address parking and traffic near Newport News Shipbuilding?
As we reinvent downtown and “Overtown” Newport News, we will need space to add businesses and land for the public good. Addressing the challenges surrounding parking near Newport News Shipbuilding through a restructuring plan would allow us the necessary room to add meaningful investments to our city’s infrastructure.
Studies show that a parking problem is a land use problem. Long term, the city and Newport News Shipbuilding need to work hand in hand to explore innovative solutions such as expanding valet services, Pentagon-style “slug lines,” and dynamic pricing for the different parking zones.
We can examine how Northern Virginia handles the Pentagon parking issue closely. By creating “slug lines” where commuters can hitch rides with motorists and motorists are rewarded with HOV privileges or reduced parking passes, we can provide incentives for carpooling. This will allow us to reduce the parking strain, car emissions, and traffic in all directions.