Name as it appears on the ballot: Marcus W. Williams
Date of birth: 8/17/1940
Campaign website: www.mww08.com
Occupation and employer: Solo Practice-Attorney At Law
1. What do you see as the most important issues facing North Carolina and the nation? If elected, what are your top three priorities in addressing those issues?
Create a more robust, job producing economy with an emphasis on community economic development, raising the minimum wage and providing small business development incentives (including increased access to start-up venture capital, tax considerations and pre-training).
Assure access to comprehensive health care for each child and citizen.
Enhance primary and secondary educational opportunities to enable a world class workforce and a more fulfilling life.
2. What in your record as a public official or other experience demonstrates your ability to be effective in the House of Representatives? This might include career or community service; be specific about its relevance to this office.
My unique, God given ability to gain the trust of others and collaborate with them successfully around a purpose or project has proven itself repeatedly. The demonstrated record of public service for 28 years, 17 as a CEO of non-profit legal services program-delivering high quality, vital civil legal services at thejuncture in people's lives when help was most needed, while at the same time volunteering to organize and lead community based economic development projects that remain viable to the present.
3. How do you define yourself politically and how does your political philosophy show itself in your past achievements and present campaign platform?
I am an eclectic pragmatist with progressive fire, as manifested by my boldness in speaking directly to power in every political position that I have held or as a candidate in past races. As the first elected student body president (SBP) in Lumberton High School after the desegregation of schools, as SBP at UNC-Ch on numerous occasions and as SBP of the Univ. of Minnesota Law School. A few articles are being submitted separately.
4. The Independents mission is to help build a just community in the Triangle and North Carolina. Please point to a specific position in your platform that would, if achieved, help further that goal.
Economic justice across the spectrum of our society would build a just community. Pay equity in the public sector, especially, must be enforced without regard to sex, race, nationality, etc.
5. Identify a principled stand you might be willing to take if elected that you suspect might cost you some popularity points with voters.
I've taken them before (See news articles). One example not chronicled by the articles was the time I confronted student protestors in Memorial Hall on UNC's campus to tell them it was wrong for them not to allow other students to hear and not allow David Duke (national info director for the KKK-l975) to speak. (After all in my administration sponsored Colloquim On Individual Rights and Liberties, we presented Martha Griffins-ERA sponsor, Sen. Eugene McCarthy, Rev. Ralph Abernathy, Atty. Williams Kunstler, Congressman Hugh Scott, and a host of others.) Today, professing my life long opposition to the death penalty or my total, prior and continuous opposition to the war in Iraq.
6. If these issues havent been addressed above, would you please comment on:
a. The U.S. has been fighting the war in Iraq for five years. Was the decision to invade a mistake?
Yes it was a catastrophic strategic mistake. We should redeploy to the U.S. borders, Afghanistan and a variety other non-combative settings. Our withdrawal must be prudently practicable to maintain the safety of our troops, diplomats, civilian workers, but it must be expeditious. Further, we must maintain, on our ships or in friendly countries in the geographical proximity, quick strike capability as we should maintain across the globe. (My Air Force ROTC training served a credible purpose.)
b. What should our policy in Iraq be today? Should we base substantial military forces there for the foreseeable future? Start to withdraw now, or if not now, according to a plan (i.e., on a timetable)? Which, if any, of the congressional resolutions introduced so far on Iraq do you support?
In Afghanistan our goal is to eviscerate the leadership of the Taliban and all other terroristic threats.
c. Economic inequality in the U.S.: Is a major problem? If so, what steps do you advocate to shrink the gap between rich and poor?
See above. Narrowing the chasm between the rich and poor will take a yeoman's educational effort since many Americans are anesthetized to the plight of indigents or seemingly assign blame to them for their predicament.
d. Universal health care: Do you support a program of universal health insurance? If so, is your model for it closest to Sen. Clintons? Sen. Obamas? Some other plan? Or do you favor a free-market approach like Sen. McCains?
I am for galvanizing the Congress and mobilizing the will to accomplish the commitment of covering all children and U.S. citizens. Whose plan is unimportant!
e. Infrastructure: Should the U.S. undertake new investmentsand if so, how much?--in highways, bridges, transit systems, water and sewer systems and the like?
Yes, all of these elements must be addressed in long range planning.
f. There has been an increase in unemployment, a rise in home foreclosures, a spike in food and fuel prices, a huge federal deficit, and other troubling economic indicators. What do you see as the primary sources of our current economic problems? What measures should Congress use to resolve address them? How would you begin to reduce the federal deficit? What are some of the possible negative consequences of your proposed solutions?
Primary contributing factors include long term neglect of the economically disadvantaged, rapacious wealth accumulators and their effective lobbyists, lack of political will to target tax policies toward a more equitable result and quite frankly, welfare reform that did not work.
g. Trade: What changes in trade policy do you advocate, if any?
Let's examine anew all trade agreements.
h. The falling dollar: The euro and the dollar were equal not long ago. Now, one euro costs $1.50. Whats the problem, and what should be done to address it?
My economics (heavy concentration) academic background informs me that the fed is micromanaging the economy for political outcomes and timing. We need and economic summit to plan our path toward progress.
7. What is your position on capital punishment?
8. What is your position regarding LGBT rights? Please address whether gay marriages or civil unions should be made legal in North Carolina or as a matter of national policy; also, whether sexual orientation and identity should be added as a protected class under federal or state anti-discrimination laws.
My mantra is to walk gently on earth. LGBT communities have nothing to fear from me. N.C. law has to be changed by the N.C. Legislature if that fight is to be waged. Perhaps my position is to candid, I will not lead a national effort for any type of marriage legislation that is contrary to N.C. law. I do support all the contractual rights that inure from employment or any other contractual entitlement. Finally, let's keep in mind the immutable fortuity of characteristics of birth versus what may be a volitional choice.
9. Do you support womens reproductive rights, including the right to choose as set out by the U.S. Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade?
A woman's choice is a woman's choice. Yes.
10. Should the nations labor-organizing laws be strengthened to better protect workers rights? If so, how?
I interfaced with 7 unions when I was CEO of statewide Penn. Legal Services. Fortunately, we had no collective bargaining controversies that necessitated and legal action. Bargaining is good conversation on how we can invest into the workplace...
I've got to run!