Hakeem Brown, a junior City Councilmember for the City of Vallejo, models himself as an advocate of change who is focusing on issues ranging from opportunities for youth, to land-use development to mental health.
And that’s just the start of his game plan on projects he wants to implement during his tenure on the City Council. After only 11 months on the job, Brown has made headway into such programs.
“It’s important to me that youth opportunities be a Tier-One issue here in Vallejo,” said Brown. “We need to invest in more apprenticeship and internship programs for our youth. It’s important because currently, it is not seen as a priority for the city to help them be successful.”
Another issue, he said, is putting rent control measures in place to address the city’s housing programs, particularly in the Black communities. “Our goal would be to help keep people in their homes so they won’t lose them because of rent increases and high-end mortgages.”
“We also need to approve and support the city’s navigation centers to ensure the homeless populations are housed with safety, dignity and respect,” said Brown. “The newest navigation center now being developed in the city’s industrial park area will, hopefully, be finished in early 2020.”
Another task that Brown’s office is coordinating is quality policing in the Vallejo communities. “We need to make it a priority to attract and maintain quality officers via an approved contract,” said Brown. “We must have first-rate officers in all areas of Vallejo, particularity in the Black community. This is something that has been neglected for years. The city needs more experienced officers, and that can only be done through a competitive contract.”
“We’ve already made history by hiring our first Black Chief of Police, which is something to be very proud of,” Brown said. “Our City Manager needs to be praised for bringing in someone who has leadership skills and abilities that represent the 21st century.”
Some of the projects Brown’s office is currently working on include a community clean up at the Marina Vista Apartments, which will take place on Jan. 11, 2020, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., and a town hall meeting to discuss issues affecting residents. The meeting will take place in North Vallejo on Jan. 25, 2020, at the Solano Middle School.
Brown will be personally involved in projects that will address adolescent mental health issues, which will include how the city’s police force deals with young people experiencing this problem in general. The goal is to help youth learn about their constitutional rights so they can understand what to expect and how they represent themselves on issues concerning the law.
Finally, said Brown, “We also need to implement a city-wide task force on what’s happening in our schools.
“We currently have a large percentage of absenteeism in our schools, particularly in the Black community. You have to ask the question, if we’re not investing in our kids in the community, how that will affect city residents in the long run?”
“I want to commend the people of Vallejo that supported me as their City Council representative. I’m determined to provide solutions for improving the quality of life in our city, grow opportunities for Vallejo youth, Vallejo seniors, public safety, homelessness, affordable housing, livable wage jobs and economic development.”
“I look forward to continuing to engage our community through my monthly town hall meetings as well as work with the community to provide solutions to the long-standing problems in Vallejo. Thank you Vallejo and Happy New Year!”