Troy D. Brown Sr. would like to bring the green back to Greenwood.
That is if he’s elected to Mississippi’s House District 32 position during the special election on Tuesday.
The seat has been vacant since December, when Willie J. Perkins Sr. took office as a chancery court judge.
Facing off against Solomon Osborne in the special election, Brown offers a six-prong platform, including forming a stronger bond between Greenwood and Itta Bena and Mississippi Valley State University.
Brown, 55, a contractor with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, spoke to an audience of about a dozen people at the Greenwood Voters League’s meeting Wednesday night.
Explaining his platform, Brown said he would like the city of Greenwood to annex Itta Bena, including Mississippi Valley State.
“Greenwood needs Mississippi Valley State University; Mississippi Valley State University needs Greenwood,” Brown said, explaining the annexation could allow Greenwood to deem itself as a “true university town” on par with Starkville, Oxford and Cleveland.
The annexation, Brown said, would lead to an increased population and prosperity for the Greenwood area, helping to create “a black middle class.”
When asked how Brown would get Greenwood to annex Itta Bena and MVSU since it’s a municipal concern and not the state’s, Brown said he would push to change the law if necessary.
Brown also wants to create a formal partnership between Greenwood Leflore Hospital and MVSU.
That would “help to diversify the funding stream for the hospital” and allow the university to offer more degrees, he said.
Sammy Foster, the chairman of the hospital’s board, was in attendance and said he liked Brown’s hospital idea.
“It would be an economic plus for this community,” Foster said. “It would be a plus for the hospital.”
Brown’s platform also includes:
• Creating a strong, recession-proof manufacturing industry. Brown claimed there’s a risk of Viking Range and Milwaukee Tool either downsizing or leaving Greenwood.
• Expanding Medicaid to prevent hospitals throughout the state from failing. Brown said Gov. Phil Bryant is the reason health care in Mississippi is doing so poorly.
• Fully fund the Mississippi Adequate Education Program. MAEP was created in 1997 to ensure all students receive a quality education. The program provides school districts funds for textbooks and other instructional materials, the basic operational costs of the school districts, special education, and transportation, among other costs.
Since its inception, the program has been fully funded only twice.
• Designate District 32 as an opportunity zone.
The designation of an opportunity zone, administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury, would “encourage long-term investments in low-income and rural communities” by allowing private investors who invest in an opportunity zone to get tax relief, according to the Mississippi Development Authority.
Brown has sought other elected offices without success.
He ran for the House District 32 position in 2007 and 2011 against Perkins. He also ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor in 1999 and 2003 and for the U.S. Senate in 2000.
Acknowledging his past runs, Brown said, “I’m prepared to lose.”
Should he win, however, he said he’s also prepared to fight.
“When it comes to a good fight, I just run to it,” Brown said. “I’m like James Brown. I don’t know karate; I know crazy.”
•Contact Gerard Edic at 581-7239 or email@example.com.