Paul J. Battle

Key Facts

Party Independent
Status Challenger

Background

Paul J. Battle received a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Norfolk State University. He has worked with the Parks and Recreation Department, Police Department, Behavioral Health Care Services, and Portsmouth Redevelopment and Housing Authority, and he was a Deputy from the Sheriff’s Department. Battle currently owns and operates Tranquility Manor Adult Residential Care Services and Battle Music & Entertainment [1, 2].

Battle is a member of the Mount Hermon Association, Church in Community Action, the Eureka Men’s Club, the M.L.K Leadership Steering Committee, the Portsmouth Chapter of the NAACP, the Portsmouth Chapter of the Norfolk State University Alumni Association, the Norfolk State University Board of Social Work, the Olympiad Sports Club, the I.C. Norcom Alumni Association, the Wesley Community Center Board, and the Portsmouth Democratic Committee. He is the former president of the Cavalier Manor Little League Association and is an Inductee of the I.C. Norcom Athletic Hall of Fame. Battle also supports youth sports in Portsmouth and purchases uniforms, equipment, trophies and travel to state tournaments [1, 2]. 
His accomplishments include helping create the “Drug Elimination Grant”, which added 15 police officers to the police department, helping create the “Empowerment Zone Grant” which funded the infrastructure for Victory Crossing and added businesses to the tax base, and writing the main portion to the “Hope 6 Grant” while working with the Portsmouth Redevelopment and Housing Authority. The Hope 6 Grant concerned the demolition and revitalization of Jeffrey Wilson and Ida Barbour. The revitalization added 300+ families to the tax base for the city and allowed for around 280 to become first-time homebuyers [4].

Key Issues

Economy

Battle plans to attract more business opportunities by making Portsmouth a new major 5G hub on the East Coast. The businesses he seeks to attract are financial organizations, commercial business, retail industries, and tourist attractions. He believes attracting businesses will increase the tax base of Portsmouth [1, 2, 4].

Battle seeks to make business decisions that will create economic development without additional taxation. He wants to remove some current taxes and prevent tax increases by working with the city manager to properly budget city expenses and utilizing surplus money to pay past debts [1, 2, 5].

Education

Battle believes in supporting and fully funding the Portsmouth School System. He believes that teachers should be compensated fairly. He seeks to support the School Board and ensure full accreditation for all schools in the Portsmouth Public School System [1, 2, 5].

Infrastructure

Battle seeks to handle rising sea levels by studying the impact on the cities in the Hampton Roads area and installing drainage and water removal systems [4].

Health Care

Battle believes that those working in the health and safety departments should receive the best levels of training and equipment. He believes the Health & Safety Departments should be well-staffed and employees should receive adequate compensation and benefits. He seeks to improve Health and Safety programs without additional taxes [1, 2].

Public Safety

Battle seeks to reduce crime by increasing law enforcement presence by providing additional vehicles, providing early childhood development particularly in reading to help lower the dropout rate, supporting pay increases for law enforcement, and supporting the Sheriff and the Police Department in their efforts to create a bond with the community [3, 4].

Social Programs

Battle advocates for more youth and senior recreational programs supported by the city. He seeks to implement more educational programs for youth, which he believes will keep them safe and productive [1, 2, 5].

Other

Battle believes the most pressing issue in Portsmouth is the impact of the tolls. He seeks to propose a plan to have the company that owns the right to operate the tunnel sell the rights to the City of Portsmouth and increase the tax for 2 years retroactively. He believes buying the tunnel can drop the cost of tolls, increase the cost for commercial vehicles that use it, and bring back businesses that were lost due to the tunnel tolls going into effect [4].

Endorsements

Stephanie Morales, Commonwealth Attorney; Michael Gray, Realtor; Kenny Wright, Former Mayor of Portsmouth; Chester Benton, President of the Historic Truxton Civic League; Lewis Taylor, citizen of Portsmouth

Sources

1 The City of Portsmouth
2 Battle for Portsmouth
3 Facebook
4 WAVY
5 The Virginian-Pilot
6 VPAP