Justin Brown, a real estate investor, will challenge Elk Grove Mayor Steve Ly in this November’s election.
Ly will also be challenged by Michelle Kile, a nine-year resident of Elk Grove.
Brown told the Citizen this week why he decided to run for mayor.
“I’m tired of seeing people struggling (and) I’m tired of not being no jobs here,” he said.
Brown noted that he is excited with the prospect of establishing a legacy in this city.
“I want to make sure that I leave a legacy for this city, that our team helped bring in more jobs, more companies and more investors than any other city in the United States,” he said.
Brown, a Houston native who served for 10 years in the U.S. Army, is a three-year resident of Elk Grove. He is currently studying psychology through online courses.
This candidate mentioned that his top priority is assisting returning veterans.
“We have to have a system in place,” he said. “We have to make sure that veterans (when) they come home, they feel welcomed here, that their descendents will be welcomed here.”
Brown added that he desires to create a veterans’ assistance institute in Elk Grove.
“Just giving them a ready-to-eat meal and then referring them to a job or referring them to a place, and they’re not re-institutionalized back into society is not going to help them,” he said. “We need to have institutes to train them.”
To assist in the creation of such an institute, Brown would like each city resident to donate at least $1 to local veterans.
“One dollar does a lot,” he said. “Once they see that, (investors will) go, ‘You know what, if they’re able to invest in veterans, we’re going to invest in Elk Grove, as well.’”
Among Brown’s greatest concerns are homeless veterans in the city.
This candidate said that he is not a newcomer to helping veterans, noting that he and his father have experience assisting various veterans adjust back into society. However, Brown desires to continue that approach on a greater scale in Elk Grove, and his concerns about homelessness include homeless students.
“Some of (those students) are living in their cars,” he said. “It just breaks my heart.”
This candidate said that he plans to help more people receive financial assistance for their educations. This solution is named after his great-grandmother.
“I’m going to name another scholarship (organization), specifically for Elk Grove,” he said. “It’s going to be the Teresa Jones Scholarship Association. Teresa Jones is one of the (first), if not the first female black senator that fought for Elk Grove.”
Brown also desires to have more police patrol officers on the city’s streets.
“We definitely need to have more officers,” he said. “But the thing about it is we need to be able to be more responsible. We need to be reliable for this city, because if nobody is patrolling the city, that’s a problem.
“You can’t always just blame it on money, because to me that’s just an excuse. There are thousands of investors in Elk Grove. You just have to take the initiative to be able to meet them.”
This candidate said that he has family history in the Elk Grove area, and has personally invested in Elk Grove.
“The reason I invested in Elk Grove is my great-grandmother invested in Elk Grove as a senator and my mother, who is still alive today, she started the Miss United America Pageant. She could have brought it to Hollywood Hills or Beverly Hills, but she chose right here in Elk Grove.”
Brown also expressed a desire to put Elk Grove more on the map through celebrity investors.
“Elk Grove is a paradise,” he said. “My goal is to invite a few celebrities. I want to invite (U.S. gymnast) Simone Biles, I would like to invite (music executive and boxing manager) James Prince, (Canadian rapper) Drake, (professional tennis star) Serena Williams, (singer/actress) Vanessa Williams to all invest in Elk Grove, because, guess what, this is the place to be at.
“We’ve got people from all over the world that don’t know about Elk Grove yet, but they will.”
Brown additionally mentioned that he has sacrificed much in his life for the purpose of serving as the city’s next mayor.
“All of these (local) families are my family,” he said. “So’ if you’re not willing to sacrifice your life to make this city a better place, then please don’t run. You have to be willing to put your life on the line. That’s why I should be your mayor of Elk Grove.”