Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Mayoral Candidate Stith Launches Campaign Website

Preview of Thomas Stith's campaign website:

Home Page
Welcome to our website and thank you for taking time to visit us! On our webpage, you can learn about the issues that we will be campaigning on, read press releases about my campaign, contribute to my campaign, endorse me and request information about my campaign.

In case you do not know me, I was born in Durham a little over 43 years ago at Lincoln Hospital. The surrounding area shaped my life. I checked out my first library book at Stanford L. Warren Library, I was educated at Fayetteville Street Elementary School, Hillside High School and North Carolina Central University. During this time, my parents instilled in me a simple belief- that through faith and hard work I could achieve my goals in life.

Today, I have been blessed with a strong relationship with my creator, a wonderful wife and three beautiful daughters, and a rewarding professional life that includes serving the city that means so much to me.

Durham is a city of unlimited potential. I have supported the renaissance we call downtown; I led the effort to connect our communities to job and business opportunities and utilize centers such as W.D. Hill as a one-stop-shop for understanding our citizens. I have worked with to make city government more efficient and effective. I have been a strong advocate to restore safety in our communities.

I also realize that we can do better. Durham is a city that continues to struggle with the horror of violent crime and gang activity. We are literally losing our children.

I say, we can do better. And we will do better with new leadership that has a vision of what Durham can become.

Thomas Stith

Meet Thomas

Thomas A. Stith III was born in Durham, NC on September 11, 1963. He graduated from Hillside High School in 1980, completing the curriculum in 3 years. He entered North Carolina Central University and three years later graduated Cum Laude with a B.B.A. in Management. Once again, he completed a four-year curriculum in only three years. Thomas later received his MBA in Marketing from North Carolina Central University, graduating with honors.

Making a commitment to public service, Thomas served on Governor James G. Martin’s executive staff, as Special Assistant to the Governor.

After leaving the Governor’s office, Thomas pursued a marketing career with IBM’s state marketing branch in Raleigh, NC. After working as a governmental marketing executive, Thomas served as the lead marketing representative for North Carolina hospitals that supported the state’s various IBM branch offices.

Thomas left IBM to pursue his lifelong dream to become an entrepreneur. He founded and operated Windsor Academy Inc. in his hometown of Durham. Thomas owned and operated Windsor Academy for 11 years, building it in to a premier, educationally-based preschool. During the last six years of that time period, Thomas also founded the Michael Thomas Group, a governmental/corporate relations and marketing firm. The Michael Thomas Group successfully marketed small- and medium-sized companies to major governmental organizations and private sector corporations, achieving multi-million dollar revenues for its clients.

Thomas joined Progress Energy, a Fortune 250 utility company, in June 2002 as Manager- Supplier Diversity and Business Development. This organization identifies minority- and women-owned business enterprises, evaluates their capabilities, and advocates for their inclusion in Progress Energy’s corporate wide procurement process and business plans. Progress Energy’s Supplier Diversity and Business Development Program has surpassed it’s projections since Thomas’ and was recognized as a Corporation of the Year in 2004 in the field of supplier diversity and also recognized as one of the top 50 companies in the country, and the top utility, for diverse companies.

Thomas served as the Vice President for the Civitas Institute after leaving Progress Energy and was responsible for the initial organization and operations of the public policy institute. He currently heads his former governmental/corporate relations and marketing firm concentrating his efforts on business consulting.

Thomas accented his professional and political career on November 2, 1999 when he was elected to the Durham City Council. Thomas has been elected to three consecutive terms.

Thomas has been a strong voice for public safety, fiscal responsibility, and jobs/economic development while serving on the Durham City Council.

The church is a key part of Thomas’ life. He serves as an Elder at Covenant Presbyterian Church, the church he was baptized in. As a member of the Session he has chaired the nominating committee for church officers and currently chairs the Personnel Committee and serves on the Budget/Finance Committee for the church. His civic involvement includes membership in the Durham Kiwanis Club. He is also a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, the North Carolina Central University Alumni Association, and the NAACP.

Thomas and his wife, Yolanda, have three daughters: Kara age 15, Kiah age 8 and Kira age 6.

Thomas on the issues

With Durham’s continuous struggle against violent crime, gang activity and efficiency, a new leader for the city is undeniably needed. A change in leadership must occur and Thomas Stith, as the next Mayor of Durham, will rally the city to fight the war against crime and offer his time and talents to make the government and city of Durham more efficient city for the future. Durham is a city of unlimited potential and Stith will work to improve the quality of life and economic vitality.

As the next Mayor of Durham, Thomas Stith will work to:

  • decrease the overall crime rate in Durham.
  • improve the efficiency of our local government.
  • reinforce collaborative relationships among the law enforcement, criminal justice and education systems.
  • promote job opportunities and economic development.
  • maintain and improve our infrastructure.
  • improve our quality of life in Durham.

Crime/Safe Community
The citizens of Durham deserve to live in a safe and secure community. The specter of crime and gang activity has plagued our community for too long. It is time to meet this challenge with action not with political rhetoric that only compounds the problem. We must adopt a zero tolerance approach to enforcement and not only reclaim our neighborhoods that are held hostage but make our city as a whole safer.

Under the leadership of Bill Bell, crime in Durham has not made any significant decrease. According to the Uniform Crime Statistics for Durham, from 2005 to 2006 there was a 2% increase in the overall crime rate in Durham. Also, in Durham from 2005 to 2006, the violent crime rate increased from 688.7 to 855.4 in one year. In addition, Rape, Aggravated Assault and Robbery are on the rise to be record highs for the last 10 years. These facts alone require a change of leadership in Durham.

Efficient and Effective City Govenorment
We must begin to operate our city government in an efficient and effective manner. We cannot continue to waste and mismanage millions of dollars and then raise taxes to pay the bill. We must pursue a strategy that includes independent performance audits of city departments along with a comprehensive organizational assessment to address the chronic operational problems we face in the operation of city government services.

Jobs/Economic Development
Our city has experienced rapid growth over the last few years. We must take proactive actions to connect our citizens with job and business opportunities so that we take full advantage of our economic position. The support of a vibrant business environment is critical to the economic well being of our community. Jobs provide our citizens with the tools to support their families. The expansion of our business community will provide our city with the resources to build Durham into a leading city. We must continue to recruit businesses to come to Durham in order for the number of job opportunities to rise and to allow for economic development.

Infrastructure Improvements
The necessity to get ahead of street, drainage, and sewer development and maintenance is vital for a growing city. We can only grow if we have the ability to sustain our fundamental services. We must provide the necessary infrastructure to support our desired economic growth. Infrastructure includes transportation (roads, easing of congestion, connectivity), utilities (water, wastewater/sewer, electricity), and parks. Through the improvement of our infrastructure, economic growth will follow and enable the lowering of homeowner taxes which leads to affordable housing, support public safety needs, city staff and services, and help support infrastructure needs.

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