2023 Candidate Questionnaire: Vicki Jones For Havre De Grace City Council
HAVRE DE GRACE - The Havre de Grace Patch spoke to Vicki Jones about her history, why she is running for office, and her positions on local issues.
Below are Jones's answers to our candidate questionnaire.
What is the primary reason you are running for this office?
"It really goes back to my love of civics. As a kid, I ran for "President of the United States" in my civics class and won."
"As I thought more and more about politics as a career path, I didn't see people who looked like me, and I didn't know how to get into politics. Frankly, in Harford County, I didn't feel like I belonged in politics. I'm running because my professional interests and experience make me a qualified candidate, but also because I want to inspire a kid in elementary, middle, or high school who looks like me to believe they belong in Harford County politics."
"I hope to be a role model to any person of color or woman, guiding them through a process and giving them the encouragement that several inspiring women have given me to be in front of you today. I am also a changemaker. I hear what's important to people and work to figure out how to make things happen. To me, no – doesn't mean no. It means we need to find another way."
What will be your single most important priority if you get elected?
"I want to focus on the young people in our city. There are not enough spaces for kids to play, and many that do exist require paid entry. I sit on the County Parks and Recs Board and use my position to advocate for our community."
"We have to figure out how to keep young people here, in the town that they've called home. We need to do a better job of having available housing for them, activities that would be interesting to young people, and job opportunities."
What sets you apart from the other candidates?
"I can offer a unique perspective because of my personal and professional experiences as the city grows."
"I am problem solver, a strategic thinker, and a great listener. I'm going into this role with a personal agenda: to find out what the community says it wants and needs and make that happen."
Where do you work, and what is your job title?
"I work for Harford County Public Schools managing the Grow Your Own teacher project. We work to fill the teacher shortage, figuring out how to get teachers into our pipeline and retain them once they're here."
What is your age and birthplace? Other family information you'd like to share?
"I'm 51 years old and was born in Tuskegee, Alabama. I have two younger siblings and a host of nieces, a nephew, and two godchildren. I am also taking care of one of my niece's turtles named Madam Dribbington."
"I grew up in a military family; we initially came to Harford County because my father was stationed at Aberdeen Proving Ground. I traveled all over the place before settling down in Harford County."
Please list the schools and colleges you attended, the degrees you attained, and when.
"I graduated from Bel Air High School and received my BA from Howard University, where I majored in Journalism and minored in Political Science. I later attended New York University and got my MPA in Public Policy and Management."
Approximately how much money do you expect to spend on your campaign?
How long have you lived in Havre de Grace?
"I moved here in 2016 when I was looking for a home. I grew up in Bel Air, but it didn't have the same hometown feel of Havre de Grace. I love being by the water, the downtown, and taking leisurely walks."
What's your favorite thing about Havre de Grace?
"The downtown and its local shops. I love walking down Washington Street and dropping into stores to say hello to business owners. It's a mix of retail, food, and fun, so there is something for everyone."
"I also love living near the water. The boardwalk is one of my favorite places to exercise, meet people, and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Sunrise to sunset, it's just a beautiful place to be."
What is the biggest issue facing Havre de Grace?
"Havre de Grace's infrastructure is aging, and it is critical that we invest now to prevent future issues. When you walk through the city, you can see how it's aging and how some buildings need work. We know that the population is growing, and unless we update our infrastructure and ensure it is solid, we won't be able to handle incoming residents."
"Sidewalks are a great example. Some areas are missing sidewalks; others have teeny tiny ones. In some areas, people walk in the street. We need to ensure that our roads, water, sewer system, and everything else are up to date."