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Williams wins big in Miami Gardens race

admin | 2/8/2012, 7:30 a.m.

Proposes three-prong plan to reduce crime

Snagging almost 73 percent of the vote, David Williams, Jr., retained his at-large seat on the Miami Gardens city council in the recent local elections a position to which he was originally appointed. Now Williams, 68, a trained scientist and former pharmaceutical industry insider, says he believes the best way to tackle the continuing problem of crime in his city is to get youth excited about education, provide initiatives that foster economic development and to link senior citizens with young adults. I believe that if we can get a grip on our youth by getting them involved in more positive activities, support more small business development in Miami Gardens and expand the kinds of programs that are attractive to our seniors, then we can begin to impact the crime rate, he said. Everyone wants to make our city safer so that families want to move here and so that our citizens feel comfortable but that means we have to initiate realistic crime prevention programs. More community policing, getting more citizens to participate in crime watch units and holding more frequent town hall meetings so that we can teach our people what to look our for would be a great beginning. I would be curious to see where those committing crimes in Miami Gardens actually live I think you would find that a lot of the criminals come from other cities and that we have a lot of rollover crime. As for the controversial ordinance banning ex-felons with more than two strikes from volunteering in after school sports programs, Williams says he is glad that the council has decided to give more thought and conversation before making the proposal the law of the land. I moved to table the ordinance and send it to committee and am convinced that we should involve citizens and experts so that everyone has an opportunity to share their opinions, he said. This is a very important issue and with the data all over the place, I didnt think I had enough information to make a final decision. By holding a public forum and inviting everyone to the table I am confident that we will arrive at a conclusion that is best for our city and our youth. Science and math among his pet projects Williams, because of his academic training that goes back to FAMU where he earned a bachelor of science in health, is a big advocate for getting more minority students involved in science and math and at much younger ages. He recently led the way in a city-wide science fair for elementary school children that partnered with St. Thomas University. We have science labs that are now operating at five of our elementary schools but one day I want to see them in all of our schools, he said. We can get the funding we need through public-private partnerships. The tougher task is getting our kids excited about math and science. The science fairs do just that. Its these kinds of initiatives that will help us change the behavior of our children and move them towards being productive citizens. We even have a fishing and gardening club that were about to launch. Some of my fellow council members laughed at first but what better way can you suggest to teach children about self-sufficiency while placing positively-minded mentors and senior citizens into their lives? By D. Kevin McNeir kmcneir@miamitimesonline.com