Meet your Mayoral Candidate: Dr. Brian Matthews

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Next Tuesday marks a big Election Day for Texas side residents. For the first time in several years, the City of Texarkana, Texas has the opportunity to cast their vote for a new Mayoral Candidate: Dr. Brian Matthews. Dr. Matthews is known widely around town for his work as an Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University-Texarkana, as well as his time as a former city council member. This election, Brian is hoping to change the game, by winning the seat and title of Mayor of Texarkana, Texas. TXKToday had the privilege of talking with Brian about his campaign, and about his hopes, dreams and visions for the City of Texarkana.

“One of the main reasons I am running for Mayor this year is so that I can be a leader that is inclusive of every citizen from every community from every background. We live in a City that represents a diverse array of citizens, with skills, expertise, and creativity that I don’t believe have been fully tapped into yet. I believe that in order for our City to progress the way that it should, we have to pay close attention and respond to the needs of our citizens and communities. I believe that when citizens have the opportunity to contribute using their gifts and talents, as well as their intellect, they can make meaningful and powerful contributions. It is only when we identify those citizens, and include them in our decision making process that we will be able to see our City flourish,” said Matthews.

Matthews has been working diligently over the last several months to meet with citizens around the Texarkana Area to listen, acknowledge, and encourage them to make a change in the current City Council. “This campaign is truly about listening to every citizen, regardless of background and community, to help bring the voices of every citizen to City Hall,” said Matthews. “What makes this race different is that for the first time in several years, it’s an actual race. Our current Mayor hasn’t had an opponent since 2012. Citizens have expressed the need for new ideas and new leadership. I’m running to ensure that citizens are given the opportunity to elect someone who can manage change in a sensible and responsible way. I also want to be diligent and considerate of the needs of our Spanish-speaking communities and youth and pledge that their ideas and concerns will be heard and explored,” said Matthews.

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Matthew’s campaign has been met with an overwhelming amount of support from various community groups, and his campaign signs have been seen in yards, and businesses across the Texarkana Area. “The community support for my campaign has been phenomenal. I have garnered tremendous support from community members, whose desire is to see unprecedented change throughout the City of Texarkana, Texas,” said Matthews. “Texarkana is long overdue for a pivotal change in a new direction that needs to be pursued in a way that isn’t scary and suspicious” said Matthews.

Matthews is running with the idea of Four Vision Areas that he hopes to address and change by becoming a part of our City Government. “These four vision areas that we have crafted, are what we truly believe are feasible and plausible focus areas that we can do to make a significant change. We don’t want to over promise and under deliver,” said Matthews. The Four Visions of his campaign are as follows:
1. City and Community Partnerships
2. Community Revitalization and Outreach
3. Economic and Youth Development (Our community of youths are typically overlooked, not intentionally, but it is time to bring back a focus onto their needs)
4. Open and responsible leadership

“As a business practitioner, and as someone who is an educator for business, leadership is paramount and essential to the effectiveness of someone running for Mayor,” said Matthews. Matthews has been working diligently to encourage citizens from around the Texarkana Area to stand up and make a change themselves. Citizens should be engaged in City handlings through shared governance. Resources should be allocated to relentlessly support and aid in expansion efforts of local businesses, and to attract new businesses to our city and region,” said Matthews.

Matthews is also thinking about different ways he can bring revenue back into the Texarkana Area, and one of his first steps is: grants. “I think grant funding outside of what the city collects is a viable alternative, or even an additional resource and tool that we can use. In addition, there is a large Hispanic population that is never considered in a lot of our campaigns and decisions. I think that, in and of itself, is unacceptable. It would be advantageous of us to have a Spanish translator working for the City, so that we can communicate effectively with that part of our community that is projected to continue to increase over time. They are a part of the fabric and heart of our community, and their input matters. Through inclusivity, we can make that happen” said Matthews.

“In terms of open and reasonable leadership, I irrefutably believe that citizens deserve a leader who conveys accurate information. As Mayor, I promise to only take credit for those things that I directly contribute to, and not things that organically happen during my tenure. As Mayor, I will fulfill my promise to focus on my vision areas that I have consistently outlined in my campaign and will facilitate open dialogue to inspire formidable strategies to reach each goal. Citizens will not be misled by political wordplay, and trust will be restored in our city government,” said Matthews.

Early voting has already begun around the Texarkana Area. The last day to vote is next Tuesday, November 2nd.

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