Archie: Poverty, Crime and the Middle Class | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Archie: Poverty, Crime and the Middle Class


Photo courtesy David Archie

Ever one to mix it up, David Archie, 51, made a commotion in 2013 when he sued his own Democratic Party, alleging tampering and voter confusion resulting in district-wide apathy that suppressed votes in the special election for a Hinds County District 2 supervisor's seat. This year, Archie is back on the campaign trail hoping that the votes—at least those that don't prove too apathetic—line up in his favor. He will face incumbent Supervisor Darrel McQuirter and former Hinds County Supervisor Al Hunter in the August Democratic primary.

Why does your district need you right now?

Well, District 2 is a Democratic district, and we need a real Democrat. Of course you know, one of my opponents is running as a Democrat this time—which he signed up five minutes before the deadline to become a Democrat. In the last election he ran as a Independent. So I would (not) consider that as a real Democrat.

I'm the only real Democrat that is in the race that lives in the city of Jackson, and I think the city of Jackson needs help the most when it comes to paving the streets, when it comes to (repairing) the ditches, when it comes to working with the other Hinds County elected officials because they are mostly Democrats. I believe that I get build that working relationship to bring jobs (and) to begin to develop a district from an economic standpoint. That is the real reason I ran, and that is the reason I think they need me.

Provide one or two examples of when you have been an advocate for your district in your personal or professional life. What was the result?

I've been an advocate for the district. I have gone before the city council to ask that the streets be repaved and repaired not only in my district, but for the entire city. I've gone before the council, and I've been on TV stating the fact that Fortification...needs to be done at that time. That's one case. I've gone before the council to ask that they give the city of Jackson employees a minimum-wage increase. Many of those employees live in District 2, lives in the city of Jackson. So I've gone before the council to ask for a pay-raise increase, a minimum-wage increase for those employees, and that took place. It has happened. It is done. So these are things that I have done.

I've gone before the Hinds County Board of Supervisors to ask for a pay raise and their insurance deductible (lowered). At one time, their insurance deductible was $5,000, and I asked at that time that they give a (lower) insurance deductible so the Hinds County employees could go to the doctor. They had to pay that deductible every year for $5,000. And so that's quite a bit of their salaries every year in order to be seen by a doctor.

I also went before the board of supervisors to ask them not to lay off any Hinds County employees and no furloughs for the Hinds County employees. These are the things I've gone before the board (and) gone before the council to ask. We organized a silent deal outside city hall when we were asking for the minimum-wage increase for City of Jackson employees.

In the past year or so, what was the most important vote taken for your district? How would you have voted and why? What is the most pressing issue for your district?

Well, I can't give you the most important, but I think I can give you the two most important. The first vote that was taken when my opponent, who is the incumbent, on his first month in that seat, voted to take all of the money from roads, repair and repaving in Hinds County, to put it in the (Byram-Clinton Corridor). I do not think that was the vote that was needed.

I think that it should have been that vote should have been that we put more money into Hinds County, and especially District 2, to repave and repair and fix the roads, but he voted to take the money away from the roads and repairing of District 2.

The other important vote that took place was the fact that my opponent, the first month on the job, voted to take away quite a few minority contracts with Hinds County.

(Editor's note: Before the 2013 special election that filled two seats on the board, some members of the Hinds County Board of Supervisors had been successful in diverting funds set aside for the Byram-Clinton corridor project and using it for infrastructure upgrades. After the election, that practice stopped. Additionally, the board voted to declare itself a new board, which paved a legal path for the board to get out of preexisting contracts, which, in some cases, they did.)

Who are you speaking of specifically as your opponent? You have two.

My opponent is (Darrel) McQuirter. He is the District 2 supervisor, the incumbent. I think that was a very poor vote when that vote was taken. That vote destroyed families. It destroyed jobs as well as opportunities for minority contracts. Now let me say that again, when that vote was taken to fire, to dishonor, to disband any contracts that were held by quite a few minority contractors, it destroyed families, it destroyed jobs, and it destroyed opportunities for minorities that are trying to do business here in the Jackson, Hinds County area.

Now, these are folks that were doing business with Hinds County, but when my opponent was elected, he decided to vote with the lone Republican to disband, take away and not give these minority contractors opportunity for the first month on the job. I would have never voted to do that.

(Editor's note: All successful votes on the board require at least three votes to pass, meaning each successful vote requires some Democratic support).

Let me just add and make this closing statement about why I decided to run for Hinds County board. I told you a moment ago that District 2 is made of Democrats as well as poor people and middle class people.

Mostly that is what District 2 is made out of so with that you have to deal with poverty. You have to deal with crime. You have to deal with jobs. Some of those things are urgent, that we step up to the plate as Hinds County elected officials and address those issues when it comes to jobs, when it comes to crime and when it comes to poverty.

Of course crime is at the top of the list when it comes to making sure that crime and the criminal aspect is dealt with within Hinds County. I mean it is right at the top of the list. This is a public-safety (issue), and (the) criminal element is also right at the top of the list.

I remember the No. 1 things that we want to address here in Hinds County: Of course, I've already told you about the streets. I've already told you about, you know, getting the grass cut—I don't know if I mentioned getting the grass cut (and) making sure that the ditches are clean.

We must change the decisions we are making, by changing the people who are making our decisions. These are the facts, and these are the issues that are taking place in Hinds County District 2.

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