City and County

Johnson announces candidacy for JP

I’m Amelia May Johnson, and I’m running for Justice of the Peace, district 8, to make Clark County great again! I’m running as an independent, because both parties have forgotten about working-class Conservatives. I’m willing to caucus with the GOP, but I’ll always serve my constituents first and foremost.

I graduated from Centerpoint High School and spent years teaching myself how to write computer programs and design websites. I’m fluent in six programming languages! My employment largely includes odd jobs, side hustles, and helping my mother manage her cleaning business.

I’m only nine-teen years old — which I admit is pretty young — but that means I have plenty of new ideas to improve our county for the better! This is my first campaign, and I wanted to start with something small and local in order to gain experience while serving my community and helping people.

I grew up attending various churches in the Glenwood-Amity area, including Baptist, Methodist, and Pentecostal churches, although I now consider myself to be non-denominational. God has shown me the world’s injustices, calling me to run for office in order to govern in a Christ-like manner.

I would describe my political ideology as ‘Christian Democracy’, because my political beliefs are an extension of my interpretation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and I strongly support religious freedom for those of all faiths, as well as our Republic and its Constitution.

I also grew up in poverty and know what it’s like to not eat three meals a day, to go without running water, to go without electricity, to go without heat in winter, and to live in houses that would be considered uninhabitable in any other state. According to the US Census Bureau: over 20% of Clark County residents live in poverty — I know how they feel, I went through what they’re going through, and I want to help.

I’m running a populist campaign centered around the issues that matter, like tax cuts, safe housing, and electoral reform. I hope my candidacy can be used to spread awareness about these issues, even if I don’t win.

The Quorum Court has a Republican supermajority, yet governs like a bunch of ‘tax and spend’ Liberals. (President Trump would call these people RINOs). I’m not against taxes and government spending, but you have to be fair and responsible — which they ain’t!

Instead of arguing about how the EDCCC can waste our money, I believe we should give the People a tax cut — especially with prices skyrocketing. The sales tax disproportionately hurts the poor, because it’s not adjusted to income, which is why I hope to see it completely eliminated. At the same time, we have to be fiscally responsible and maintain a balanced budget by cutting unnecessary spending.

I understand the importance of economic development, but tax cuts will help small businesses and working-class Americans more than planting a bunch of trees or paying millions of dollars to create a handful of jobs.

Arkansas is the only state in the union without minimum habitability requirements for rental properties, this means people can legally rent out unsafe houses — death-traps even!

I used to live in a house here in Amity with a one- or two-inch gap in the floor that went straight outside. That house recently burned down; thankfully no one was living there, but what if someone was? What if someone died?

If elected JP, I’ll introduce a safe housing ordinance, so no one has to choose between living in a death-trap or sleeping on the street. The ordinance will also include property tax cuts to offset the financial burden of compliance. It’s sad that we have to do this at the local level, but we can’t wait idly by and put people’s lives at risk.

America’s two-party system is broken; rather than serving their constituents, most politicians bow down to wealthy, special interests and vote party-line, even if it contradicts the interests of their constituents.

I support implementing ranked choice voting for all county elections, so voters can rank candidates in order of preference, rather than voting for a ‘lesser evil’ who doesn’t represent their values.

Clark County’s experiment with legalized alcohol has failed. Productive businesses are replaced with liquor stores around every corner, crime is fueled by drunkenness, and our county’s population is dwindling as people flee elsewhere.

Dry counties, on average, have lower crime rates than wet counties, while higher alcohol taxes are correlated with a decrease in alcohol-related deaths. I’ll support any petition to make Clark County dry again, and as JP, I’ll work to increase the liquor, beer, and mixed drink taxes. Human life is more important than the profits of the wealthy.

The county’s website doesn’t have very much information, and most of it’s outdated. It still lists Rhonda Cole as the County Clerk, even though she was replaced by Mona Vance years ago, and I had to dig for hours to find a working email address.

In order to be more transparent, I believe the county website should be required to be up to date at all times. Every elected official, including JPs, should be issued an email address at which their constituents can contact them. Furthermore, every Quorum Court meeting, proposed ordinance, and enacted ordinance should be posted online for all to see. I also believe every registered voter should be informed about upcoming elections by mail, e-mail, or text.

If elected JP, I’ll introduce an ordinance to make Clark County pro-life and ban county funds from being used for abortions. It would be a mostly symbolic gesture, but an important one nevertheless. 

I believe the Second Amendment, which guarantees the right of the People to keep and bear arms, is the most important one, because without it: the government can take away our religious freedoms, limit free speech, and much more.

This is why Clark County should declare itself a ‘Second Amendment sanctuary’ and ban the Sheriff’s Office and county officials — who take an oath to the Constitution, mind you — from enforcing unconstitutional laws or executive orders that infringe upon gun rights.

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