Peter J. Volosin

Key Facts

Party Nonpartisan
Status Challenger

Background

Peter Volosin has earned a BA in Urban Studies/Affairs from Brown University and a Master’s degree in City/Urban, Community, and Regional Planning from Georgetown University. He was a member of the Political Leaders Program at the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia and was elected class Vice President, honored by classmates as “Person You Most Want to Run Your Campaign” and “Most Likely to Collaborate Across Party Lines” [4].

Volosin made the 2008 US Olympic Trials for swimming. He has worked in the hospitality industry, served as an EMT-First Responder, and worked as an urban planner. Volosin has also worked for the World Bank. He has served on the board of Local Colors, the Roanoke Fair Housing Board, the Roanoke Valley – Alleghany Regional Commission, the Virginia Recreational Facilities Authority, and the Roanoke Diversity Center [1, 7].

Key Issues

Economy

Volosin wants to increase economic mobility by continuing to make community college courses more affordable and resources readily available for working parents or displaced workers. He wants to develop more jobs by attracting new businesses by providing the environment and resources needed for growth. To do this, he plans to revise the current business tax code, provide relocation support to businesses, prepare underutilized land to be redeveloped, cultivate Roanoke’s reputation for outdoor recreation to draw more tourism, boost the hospitality industry, and take advantage of the boom in “green” jobs and remote workers. [1]. 

Education

Volosin wants to encourage public/private/nonprofit partnerships to increase the availability of affordable Pre-K and after-school programs [1].

Community

Volosin wants to develop more walkable village centers to act as small business hubs throughout neighborhoods. He hopes to support and encourage the creation of more minority-owned businesses, as well as prioritizing locally owned businesses in bids for projects [1].

Public Safety

Volosin hopes to address the societal root causes of violent crime, but, until then, plans to increase the use of community policing and hire social workers to join police on certain calls in order to provide a more trauma informed approach to crime mitigation while allowing police to handle the jobs for which they are specifically trained. Additionally, he advocates for allowing public safety employees to form unions to address wages, recruiting, working conditions, and morale [1].

Housing

Volosin promotes creating affordable homes in areas where citizens will have access to essential services, as well as incentivizing mixed-income housing connected to job centers, improving the land bank program, and expanding down payment assistance programs [1]. He also wants to push for inclusionary zoning, land banking, and brownfield redevelopment [3]. Volosin does not support banning homeless people from camping in public spaces such as parks [7].

Social Programs

Volosin wants to correct the negative impacts of urban renewal and financial redlining. He also plans to place additional city services in public places where people already congregate, such as schools or libraries, in order to bring needed services to the underserved [1].

Transportation

Volosin plans to alter the mix of transportation and land-use in order to reduce traffic and increase revenues [1]. He is against the way the city created the bus station [7].

Food

To eliminate food deserts, Volosin promotes attracting supermarkets to underserved areas, supporting farmer’s markets and partnerships with organizations such as LEAP (Local Environmental Agriculture Project), and working with schools to provide healthy cooking and food education opportunities [1].

 

Broadband

Volosin would like to see the city develop partnerships with local service providers to develop its own network of low-cost internet that can be harnessed by those who cannot afford high-speed service [1].

Environment

Volosin prioritizes creating parks and streetscapes that mitigate runoff in order to reduce flooding. He also plans to develop old industrial sites along waterways into more parks, housing, and businesses, as well as creating more greenways and bikeways. He hopes to move the city to electric and hybrid vehicle fleets, install solar panels on city buildings, plant more trees, develop a green building code, develop electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and improve data collection and analysis to note trends [1]. Volosin agrees with the plastic bag fee [7].

Budget

Volosin advocates for tax relief [7].

Endorsements

Roanoke City Democratic Committee; John Edwards, Virginia Senator; Adam Ebbin, Virginia Senator; Djuna Osborne, Roanoke City Councilwoman; Joe Cobb, Roanoke City Vice-Mayor; SMART Union – Transportation Division; Steve McGraw, Roanoke County Clerk of the Circuit Court; Mark Levine, Virginia House of Delegates Member; Run with Pride; Virginia Anti-Bullying And Discrimination Action Network; 90for90.org; LEAP-Forward

Sources

1 Peter Volosin 
2 VPAP 
3 Facebook 
4 LinkedIn 
5 Twitter 
6 WDBJ7
7 Roanoke Rambler
8 Roanoke City Democratic Committee