ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - WALB News 10 sat down with a candidate for Albany Mayor on Friday.
James Pratt Jr. shared his campaign and why he’s running.
28-year-old James Pratt, Jr.’s hat is in the ring for Albany Mayor. While he may be young, he said he’s at just the right age to spark a change.
“28 is the age Martin Luther King lead his church in Montgomery, Alabama. When Stevie Wonder wrote ‘Love’s in Need of Love Today,’” said Pratt.
Born and raised in Albany.
“This is it. This is home.”
Pratt went back to where his childhood home used to stand in East Albany. The past reminds him why he’s running for Mayor.
“We still have buildings that are dilapidated. We still have blight. That’s something we need to deal with here in the city.”
Pratt said his campaign is based on two different platforms. The first, he calls philosophical.
“I think we have to love each other better. We have to engage with each other. See each other differently.”
He said the second is a policy platform.
“We talk a lot about bringing industry here to Albany. But we have a bustling music, arts and culture community right here in Albany. We have to invest in that,” Pratt said.
Pratt said there’s no reason Albany couldn’t thrive in the arts industry, like bigger cities.
“We just saw Tyler Perry invested a lot of money in Atlanta, Georgia. We have better talent down here.”
As a criminal justice professor at Albany State University and currently working on his PhD in the study, Pratt said he can bring a unique perspective to solving the issue of crime.
“New technologies, like shot spotter. It’s a wonderful technology that recognizes the shot of a gun and locates where it happens, so police get there faster,” Pratt said.
Pratt also wants to address issues with poverty in the area, like taking care of renters and homeowners and managing the high utility bills.
He said good pension and take-home pay is important to helping those in the city.
He said he also wants to hire and protect first responders. He was inspired by his dad who was a first responder and helped save others during the Flood of 1994. He said this includes preparing for storms.