Sitdown with 30th District Congressional Candidate, Taj Clayton

May 8, 2012 § Leave a comment

Taj Clayton, a young-spirited Harvard graduate, greeted me with a huge smile and a firm handshake. So young, in fact, he reminded me of  then Senator Obama and that critics who voiced concern for his age and experience.

“I’ve worked the federal level for an article 3 judge. I went to law school where I studied federal law. I practice law now where I work in federal courts and federal legal matters,” said Clayton

His parents were blue collar factory workers. “I’m a big proponent of public school education,” said Clayton, after going through his k-12 schooling years. Clayton married his college sweetheart Tonika and his a proud father of three children. They both attended Harvard and moved to southern Dallas in 1995 to raise their kids and blast off their careers.

Clayton was eager to sit down with me, and I had the honor to hear his views and why he was running against the longtime incumbent Eddie Bernice Johnson.

He assured me he wasn’t another stand in line Democrat. EBJ has represented the 30th district since 1992 and hasn’t faced any real competition since. Her last challenger, Republican and pastor Stephen Broden, only took 21% of the vote in 2010.

Clayton advocated “much more active engagement in policy making” and pointed out her weak legislation record.

“What we’ve seen on the course of two decades at the congressional level is the passage of three bills — that do nothing but name federal buildings.”

EBJ seems  to have a stranglehold on the district and certainly receives establishment support but the anti-incumbent mood may arise once again this upcoming election. About that barrier and establishment surrounding EBJ, Clayton expressed indifference and believes he is “one of the people.”

“My focus isn’t on getting establishment support. My focus is going directly to the people.”

Clayton shared the common grief of the deteriorating “southern sector.”

“It’s a shadow of it’s former self, and you drive up down 45 and you see all this available real estate that could be filled with company headquarters, and factories and jobs — even though we’ve been talking about since ’95.”

One way, he suggested, is providing grants to businesses that re-locate into economically disadvantaged areas. He also stressed empowering local entrepreneurs and creating a “financial infrastructure” through micro-lending strategies and community banks.

Some of the issues he felt needed to be addressed is the “lack of economic development in southern Dallas county, lack of adequate job creation” and better schools.

“We shouldn’t have to go to the north side of town…those jobs should be right here in our own community and that’s what I want to focus on.”

On issues of foreign policy, Clayton is pleased with the President’s directions and was against the Invasion of Iraq in 2003.

“He has a smart policy in Afghanistan. We’ve seen his foreign policy work with the removal of Gaddafi. We got Osama bin Laden.”

Clayton is a stand up guy and I can’t wait for the race. I don’t think residents of the 30th district would be interested in talking sports with him though.

In a George Washington manner, and to my surprise, Clayton answered, “I can not tell a lie. I’m not one of these phony politicians. I am a Philadelphia Eagles fan.”

If you want more information about the Clayton for Congress campaign, check out the website, donate and volunteer.

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