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Philander Smith graduate, Jonathan Dunkley, throws his hat in the ring

Jonathan Dunkley, '06, project manager at the Clinton School of Public Service, announced his candidacy for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives this Spring. Dunkley, who graduated from Philander Smith in 2006 with a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science, was the fourth Democratic candidate to announce a bid for the 2nd District Congress seat now held by U.S. Rep. French Hill. If successful, Dunkley would be the first African American elected to Congress from the state of Arkansas.

"A few months ago I was having a conversation with my daughter. She and I were talking about what I do and where I work, she was feeling a little anxious about the world. She knows I have done a lot - with foster kids teaching them how to be prepared for the world when the reach the age of 21 and don't have a safety net any more, working with college kids from the US in Belize doing projects that help make the world a better place, and right here in Little Rock as a mentor to young men who need a role model. What she was anxious about is our political leadership. "Daddy, what are you doing about Donald Trump? You aren't doing enough!"

I am not doing enough - until now. 

We don't have to depend on a representative going to Washington who only represents the few. I want to make sure that all of the people of the 2nd CD can have real representation. So I am answering my daughters question and running for Congress.

We need an economy that works for everyone, right now we have an economy that works for a few. By granting huge tax cuts to corporations we are robbing our public schools and roads. I don't want to live in a world where our kids have to have bake sales to buy books or a world where we have to pay for the bus to pick our kids up and take them to school. 

We need a health care system that is about the consumers - a horrible way to talk about people, by the way. I want to push for a system that puts people first, not one that is based on the profits margins for the health care industry or fat cat CEO's. 

These are just two issues that I believe are getting a poor representation in Washington. My job will be to make sure you are being heard, that your anxiety is being recognized and that our children will not have to pick up the pieces of what could be a failed experiment. 

The Daily Kos item mentioned a couple of other topics of interest to Dunkley, including debt-free college or trade school for students and his belief that "para-military weapons don't belong in the hands of the public — they belong with trained professionals, our military and our public safety officers. "

Max Brantley, Contributor, Arkansas Blog

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