Non-Hispanic whites are now a minority in Dalton, but J.K. Ware says the city’s diversity isn’t reflected in its government.
“It is a fact that the Dalton Police Department has very few Latino and women police officers and no black police officers. The Dalton City Council should work closely with the Public Service Commission to actively recruit qualified minority U.S. military veterans to apply to the Dalton Police Department,” he said. “There are countless American heroes who have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan who are unemployed and would love the opportunity to serve their country again as peace officers. We as Americans and as a city owe our military veterans this opportunity.”
Ware, who is challenging incumbent Gary Crews in the Nov. 5 race for the Ward 4 seat on the City Council, said he will strive to promote diversity and equal treatment. He said housing, employment and other public accommodations should not be denied to anyone because of their race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.
Ware said he would introduce a measure that would tell the Dalton Police Department to avoid optional immigration checks when no violent crime has been committed.
This is the first run at political office for Ware, 30, but he says he has had an interest in politics going back several years.
“I’m a former precinct chair (5A) of the Whitfield GOP and a former officer of the Whitfield Democratic Party. I’ve worked on Max Cleland’s re-election campaign in 2002, Herman Cain’s senatorial campaign in 2004, and President Bush’s re-election campaign in 2004,” he said. “I worked as a legislative intern for Georgia state senators Robert Brown and Tim Golden.”
He also has been actively involved in several community organizations.
“I’m a lifelong member of Community Fellowship Church, a board member of the Emery Center, member of the NAACP and the Urban League,” he said.
Currently working as an insurance agent, Ware has previously worked for the University of Tennessee System’s Institute for Public Service, the U.S. Census Bureau and WDNN.
Ware said he would promote fiscal responsibility by calling for “zero based” budgeting for the city government, and he said he wants to help the city diversify its economy. He said the city should consider working with Dalton State College to create business incubators.
“These business incubators would provide local and newly relocated entrepreneurs with assistance so they can create jobs and put people back to work,” he said.
He said the city also needs a “rigorous business recruitment plan in place to actively market the many attributes of the city of Dalton.”
“A 21st century infrastructure, tax abatements and streamlining and simplifying licensing processes will be needed to provide pull factors for outside industries,” he said.
Ware said the city also needs to improve the quality of life by attracting and creating new opportunities for entertainment and culture.
A graduate of Dalton High School, Ware has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Kennesaw State University and a master’s in public administration from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.