FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 22nd, 2020
CONTACT: David Norton
Monday morning I filed my candidate declaration to be elected mayor of the city of Pawtucket. Pawtucket faces massive social and economic challenges both short and long term and I would like to help shape the strategy for dealing with these pressing challenges for Pawtucket, Rhode Island. We face not only a long-term public health crisis but likely the worst economic downturn of our lives. We must prepare ourselves for significant economic and social change.
I am an Army veteran, a former English teacher, a small business owner, and a proud father. I hold a different view of the world than many other Pawtucket residents. I was born and raised in Pawtucket but have spent much of my adult life living and learning abroad in Germany, Denmark, Chile, and Japan. My wife and daughter are immigrants and I myself lived as an immigrant in Japan for 10 years. I often feel that I relate more to the immigrant community in terms of world view and life experience.
On social issues, my life experience and worldview tell me that a 99% white fire department in a city that is only 50% white is indicative of more than just systemic racism: it is indicative of a serious lack of leadership over the past 10 years of the current administration. I feel because of my diverse experiences and view of the world that I have a very unique vision, and that I am uniquely qualified, for the job of being mayor of Pawtucket. I envision a city that treats residents equally both in terms of city hiring and communication. Our discriminatory policy isn't only one city department, either, according to the current administration's own Affirmative Action Report city employees, across all departments, are 94% white and I estimate that 97% of our public school educators are white (I estimate because our school department doesn't even have an Affirmative Action Plan). I seek to end our obviously discriminatory city hiring practices by reforming city and school department hiring practices.
Continuing with social issues, my life experience and worldview tell me that Black Lives Matter. I envision policy and culture changes to address this issue: On policy, I envision working with an NAACP-oriented review board to address and implement solutions to our discriminatory hiring practices, On culture, I envision a city-sponsored Juneteenth (celebration of African American freedom) event each year.
On economic issues, I envision a city where we reject the use of taxpayer money for pie-in-the-sky projects for wealthy out-of-state investors. My administration will fight to end the state's imposition of a very unfair car tax and fight to ensure that the complete phasing out of the car tax for Pawtucket residents is accomplished. My administration will focus on a bottom-up economic development strategy that supports local small and family businesses with a focus on specialty goods and services that utilizes our many unique and diverse cultural traditions and activities. My vision for this specialty goods and services strategy includes city-promoted Art, Music, and Sport.
Continuing on issues that are both economic and social, I envision a city that fights against state Medicaid cuts and funding cuts to nursing homes. I envision a city that prioritizes the well being of residents over the interests of wealthy developers. I envision a city where tax money is used for fire departments, emergency preparedness, affordable housing, and schools, not for building entertainment venues for wealthy folks.
Of course, it is not possible to cover all of the issues in a single press release but my priorities will always be with helping our most vulnerable residents whether that is a social issue or an economic issue. Folks can reach out to me with any questions that they might have at www.electdavidnorton.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 2nd, 2019
CONTACT: David Norton
Today our city and state leaders led by Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien, Governor Gina Raimondo, and Commerce RI (the entity responsible for 38 Studios) are seeking an enormous amount of money for yet another out-of-state billionaire investment group.
At $400,000,000, this taxpayer-funded project involves an untenable amount of money from Pawtucket's low-income tax-base. It is a recipe for disaster for Pawtucket taxpayers and Rhode Island taxpayers, alike.
We need to stop this $400,000,000 boondoggle and the message of our campaign will be loud and clear moving forward: "No tax money for millionaires and billionaires!".
The truth is that the Pawtucket Mayor and this newly arrived investment group already have a virtual blank check from some legislation passed in the last session concerning McCoy stadium -- and they are going to cash that check.
It bears repeating that the driving force behind taxpayer-funded sweetheart deals for the wealthy is nearly always the Mayor of Pawtucket. With all that said, the Pawtucket Mayor's past relentless pursuit of a taxpayer-funded stadium for a billionaire ownership group is nothing compared to this latest $400,000,000 scheme. The idea that taxpayers will be asked to fork over even more money to billionaires than the last stadium boondoggle is unbelievable!
The race for Mayor of Pawtucket, for me, is about representing the wishes of the voters and taxpayers in the city and also in the state and not representing the interests of any billionaire ownership or investment groups. I want to pursue improvements in our schools and reopening closed fire stations as all of our elected leaders should.