Bob McCray

Political party: 
Question 1: 

Over the past several years many residents have found it difficult to find meaningful employment that is accessible to them. What steps will you take to ensure that residents in our more urban neighborhoods will be able to have the same opportunities as other communities, and to ensure that every part of the city benefits from economic development?

The West End of Newport is now becoming more attractive to all concerned, because of the Route 9 project. It will serve as a catalyst for  both commercial and residential redevelopment. This will also expose Newport to the rest of the nation if properly promoted. Businesses and residential  development is occurring all over the city. I would promote programs that gives these businesses financial incentives that give priorities to the hiring of Newport residents. I would make certain that the social service agencies and the City of Newport live up to its expectations from the public.

Question 2: 

Redevelopment in Newport has resulted in the relocation of affordable housing units and the present/former occupants. Given the model of concentration and isolation of the former generation of public housing, this relocation presents both challenges and opportunities. How do you plan to provide greater opportunities to low income residents while affirmatively furthering fair housing? 

There is presently a surge of residential redevelopment in Cincinnati, in impoverished neighborhoods. Properties are being completely gutted and restored in some of the worse areas. The Hope Six program in Newport, was suppose to be beneficial to both the people that was displace and the community. Apparently this has failed many of the families that were roust from the Housing Authority. Unfortunately, once  properties are refurbished or new homes were built, it became too expensive for the previous tenants. Working with both the State and Federal agencies, locate financial institutions and community service organizations, we can establish programs that is affordable for low income families that will become "owner occupied" We can established certain requirements, such as training and education of financial and property maintenance responsibilities. Code Enforcement will play a major role in assisting the new landlords.

Question 3: 

Newport is one of the most diverse cities in northern Kentucky when it comes to racial and ethnic make up, and has many vibrant neighborhoods. Yet some residents see a distinct lack of representation on city boards or in city employment. What steps can the city take to make sure that community boards and city employment are representative of the city as a whole? 

As an African American and the first Black Police Officer on the Newport Police Department, I have experienced first hand the resistance to integrate all departments within the City of Newport, by various administrations. The citizens of Newport have embraced me from day one. The community has been open-minded and has graciously allow me and many other minorities  to flourish. We, the community have to change the mind set of our governments.

Question 4: 

Currently there are several 'brownfields' scattered throughout Newport. The most well known of these include the L&H Tool & Die site at 12th and Lowell, which was profiled in an USA Today article detailing brownfields and lead contamination, and the former Newport Steel location. What can the city do to help clean up these and other sites, and promote development that will enhance the communities surrounding them?

I am certain there are State and Federal regulations on the cleaning and disposal of contaminated materials and soil. These areas in Newport should be well known to our administration because of the research that was supposed to be completed years ago, to protect our 'first responders' from hazards. Funds to properly address these issues are the solutions. Grants and even loans should be pursued to clean up these sites to make them more attractive for development, which in turn will generate capital.

Question 5: 

Citizens returning home from incarceration, and even those who have finished their probation and parole, often have trouble returning to their communities. Several cities and states have fostered initiatives aimed at helping these members of our community get back on their feet. Louisville and Cincinnati, for example, have removed questions about previous convictions from hiring applications. What steps do you feel Newport can and should take to help folks re-enter our community?

The removing of certain questions from an application isn't the answer. A community has to be aware of the kind of person that is being release from incarceration and being placed in a neighborhood and in the work force. I am in favor of being lenient on persons convicted of certain crimes where the damage done to the victims are minimal and have been compensated. This should to be done on a case by case basis.

Question 6: 

Currently people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ+) lack protection from discrimination in housing, employment, or public accommodation under state or federal law. Eight cities in Kentucky have passed their own expanded human rights ordinance, often referred to as a Fairness Ordinance, to extend protections to LGBTQ+ individuals. These cities include towns as small as Vicco (population 334), as large as Louisville (population 760,026), and as nearby as Covington (population 40,640). Do you support a Fairness Ordinance for Newport to protect LGBTQ+ individuals from discrimination?

Absolutely. Tolerance and acceptance should be a God given right. Unfortunately we have to pass laws to ensure that a human-being is treated as such.