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Real Views Exclusive: Q&A with City Council Candidate Earnestine Armstrong

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Written By

Robert Brown

RobBrown.rb42@gmail.com

With early voting already underway for Natchitoches Parish , The Real Views has hit the campaign pavement to give you insight and interviews with local candidates during this exciting campaign season. Our first interview is with Earnestine Armstrong. Mrs Armstrong is a candidate for City Council of  District 2. After serving 19 years as the education coordinator for the Head Start Program in Natchitoches, Mrs. Armstrong has decided to enter politics and become the change that she wants to see. With an endorsement from The Real Views owner, Randy Stelly, I was given the privilege to interview Mrs. Armstrong for a short Q&A.

The Real ViewsWhat are some of the reasons that  you decided to enter this year’s election? 

Mrs. Armstrong : Well, I decided to run because I think that it’s time for some changes with the way things are done in Natchitoches, especially in District 2, where we feel that we aren’t getting the proper representation that we deserve. I felt like the time was right this election.

The Real Views: What changes do you want to see as City Council woman of District 2? 

Mrs. Armstrong: My biggest concern is utility rates in the city; the numbers are astronomical. Another top priority on my agenda is the road for Town South and Payneham community that should have been fixed a long time ago. But, the electricity rates are really too high for a city of Natchitoches’ size. Repairing local roads and getting lower utility rates are definitely my top goals as becoming a member of City Council for District2.

The Real Views: Do you think you’re going to be able to accomplish most of your agenda once elected? 

Mrs. Armstrong: Well, that all depends on the collective effort of my fellow councilmen and the mayor of the city. I’ve never been someone to sit down and say what I’m going to do; I would rather let my actions talk for me. If elected, I would have the voice and influence to help my community, district, and the entire city.

The Real Views: Do you think the city of Natchitoches needs more of its people more politically involved? And by involved, I mean going to City Council meetings, being outspoken, writing letters to political leaders, etc. 

Mrs. Armstrong: I think they should. In the past, we didn’t have much positive reception when we would attend City Council meetings. I think the city council should be an entity where everyone should show up , share ideas, and try to promote a more united Natchitoches. I think the citizens have a right to come in and listen to city government.

The Real Views: How has your  experiences as a mother, grandmother and former Head Start coordinator help you prepare for a political position? 

Mrs. Armstrong: All of my children are grown, I have grandchildren coming up and I notice that many young people in Natchitoches don’t have much to do. There aren’t many activities targeted towards certain age groups of children, so that leaves them with nothing to do but walk the streets and get into trouble. The old saying an idle mind being the devil’s workshop holds true to some situations in Natchitoches when it comes to our youth. We need programs that promote productivity and positive experiences  for our children in Natchitoches.

The Real Views: Do you think experience is an overrated trait in politics? 

Mrs. Armstrong: Yes, I do. Everyone has to learn how to do a job. The people that get tenure in certain  positions had to start somewhere. I think the experience argument is an excuse for certain people to own those positions. Those are public positions that should be put out there for anyone that is capable of doing the job well. Change is good, and in this situation, change is needed.

The Real Views: Finally, education is always a hot button issue within Natchitoches. What changes do you want to see done within the school board for education to improve in Natchitoches? 

Mrs. Armstrong: I would like to see some changes done there. I think too many children are being expelled for things that aren’t worth losing an education over. Expulsion doesn’t help anybody. It doesn’t help the children, it doesn’t help the schools, and certainly doesn’t help the community. I would like to see some changes made that help the children get the most they can from our schools. 

The Real Views: Thank you for your time, Mrs. Armstrong. Anything you would like to leave our readers with?

Mrs. Armstrong: I would like to say that this journey for City Council has been a fun experience. I’m grateful for all of the candidates and the campaigns that they’re running. I think citizens of Natchitoches should feel empowered by seeing other locals step up and run for public office.

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Written by demon53

March 13, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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