D’Andre Jones seeks Fayetteville City Council seat in Ward 1

D’Andre Jones / Courtesy photo

Local social worker and longtime community advocate D’Andre Jones is making another run for Fayetteville City Council.

Jones, 46, hopes to win the Ward 1, Position 2 seat and replace outgoing Council Member Sarah Marsh, who did not file for re-election. He’ll face challengers Tanner Pettigrew, Oroo Oyioka and Pedro Fimbres.

Jones was one of six candidates to run for City Council in Ward 4 in 2014, including John La Tour, who won the seat with 43% of the votes. Jones took 14% of the votes that year. Others with unsuccessful bids in that race were Ray Boudreaux (20%), Phillip McKnight (10%), Craig Honchell (8%) and Robert Williams (5%).

Jones said he’s spent nearly 10 years advocating for his neighbors through various channels, including president of the Northwest Arkansas Democratic Black Caucus, chair of the Civil Rights Commission, chair of Mayor Lioneld Jordan’s African American Advisory Council, and secretary of Civil Service Commission.

“I believe now is the right time to combine my experience to work for you as your City Council member,” he said.

If elected, Jones said he’ll focus on public health, economic parity, environmental justice, and pushing for “a smarter approach” to safety and criminal justice.

“I will work to promote effective community policing to build trust and keep Ward 1 safe,” Jones said. “Trust between communities and law enforcement is essential.”

Ward 1 encompasses south and southeast Fayetteville, including the areas south of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Huntsville Road. Mount Sequoyah, Happy Hollow Elementary, and Ramay Junior High School are also included in Ward 1.

The election is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Profile: D’Andre Jones

Position sought: Ward 1, Position 2
Age: 46
Residency: Lived in Fayetteville since 2006
Employment: Provisionally licensed social worker, Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care
Education: Bachelor of Science in Education, University of Arkansas; Master of management and leadership, Webster University; Master of Social Work, Arizona State University
Political Experience: Joiner City Council 2001-2005; Staff assistant to former U.S. Rep. Marion Berry; Fayetteville Civil Service Commission member; Chair, Fayetteville Mayor’s African American Advisory Council


Meet the Candidates

The following candidates are running for election this year. All candidates were sent a request for more information about their candidacy. Responses are posted in the order they’re received.


Mayor Lioneld Jordan
William Harrison
Ron Baucom (not received)
Tom Terminella (not received)

Ward 1

D’Andre Jones
Tanner Pettigrew
Oroo Oyioka
Pedro Fimbres (not received)

Ward 2

William Chesser
Council Member Matthew Petty

Ward 3

Peter Tonnessen
Council Member Sarah Bunch

Ward 4

Adam Fire Cat
Holly Hertzberg
Paul Waddell
Council Member Kyle Smith

What made you decide to take another run at the council?

My vision for Ward 1 is informed by progressive working-class values of lifting from the bottom to ensure everyone rises. Equity, compassion, respect, and acceptance of all others regardless of their background, and collaborating with others to solve problems were values instilled in me by my mother, grandparents, and teachers. Those values were reinforced during many years of mental health awareness and advocacy, and by the almost decade I spent tirelessly advocating for my neighbors while serving as president and political director of the NWA Democratic Black Caucus, chair of the Civil Rights Commission, chair of the Fayetteville Mayor’s African American Advisory Council, and the secretary of Civil Service Commission. I believe now is the right time to combine my experience to work for you as your City Council member. As your City Council member, I am committed to putting people over politics by listening to the concerns of every citizen in Ward 1.

My focus will be to ensure Fayetteville lives up to its values of a compassionate and vibrant community, honoring accessibility, affordability, stability, diversity, inclusion, safety, and equitable opportunities. I believe an equitable community is one that makes public health and safety and social and economic upward mobility accessible for all residents at all stages of life. I will focus on connecting Ward 1 neighborhoods by bringing residents together to develop solutions to our shared challenges. I will ensure that every family has the freedom and opportunity to thrive. I am committed to creating and implementing solutions that work for every individual and family. I will advocate for affordable housing and work to end homelessness. I will advance any policy or ordinance that brings services, resources, and funding to Ward 1. Every day I will put the people of Ward 1 first. Together, we will partner to create a progressive agenda that aspires to a meaningful quality of life for all residents. Every person deserves access to safe and affordable housing. We cannot let the rising cost of housing in Ward 1 force out the hard-working families, seniors on fixed incomes, and young professionals, who help make our neighborhoods special. I am committed to working with the Housing Authority and addressing housing equity, including prohibiting source of income discrimination.

Public health and safety, economic parity, and environmental justice are vital and necessary for the growth and development of Ward 1. No matter where you live, Jefferson/Walker or University Heights, Town Branch or Wilson Park, Jennings Plus or South Rolling Hills, residents want to feel protected, know their trash will be picked up on time, trust potholes will be fixed, access sidewalks and trails, and pursue economic opportunities. Residents want to be able to call their city officials, know they were heard, and trust in a resolution as soon as the phone is hung up. And for nearly a decade, that is exactly what I have done in Fayetteville.

As a civil rights activist, chairman of the Fayetteville Mayor’s African American Advisory Council and secretary of the Civil Service Commission, I successfully collaborated with the Fayetteville Police Department, judicial officials, and community partners to protect marginalized groups, build trust, and improve pathways to restoration for all citizens.

My focus will continue the path to a smarter approach to safety and criminal justice. I will work to promote effective community policing to build trust and keep Ward 1 safe. Trust between communities and law enforcement is essential.

Community-oriented policing has been proven to foster trust and strengthen relationships that make our communities safe. I will continue my unwavering commitment to advancing criminal justice reform by facilitating healthy conversations between residents and law enforcement.

As a City Council member, I will build on the successful relationship with the Fayetteville Police Department by continuing community outreach to increase public trust, transparency, and accountability. I will continue to champion restorative policing. Ward 1 residents deserve access to public health and safety, and I am committed to addressing substance abuse issues by supporting and working to develop social work and mental health resources, creating a model public health and safety system.

Equity and inclusion are vital to building a strong economy for all. I remain committed to developing an anti-poverty campaign. Creating job opportunities and infrastructure that enable every individual and family in Ward 1 to thrive is a top priority. I am committed to invest, supporting, and strengthening small businesses, the Independent Restaurant Association, as well as businesses owned by minorities and women. I will advocate for policies that remove barriers to opportunities and foster prosperity for every individual and family in Ward 1. Hard-working families must have equitable resources such as affordable childcare. I am committed to exploring and creating equitable resources for safe, secure, and affordable childcare. COVID 19 has created hardship for our community, particularly our children. As a member of the city council, I am committed to supporting parents and helping families discover equitable and community-based options for education.

I am committed to environmental protection and preserving the health of our environment as a matter of public good, economic development, and justice. I am committed to clean creeks and waters. I am committed to keeping our trails safe, secure, and clean for all Ward 1 residents. I will support environmental justice policies to ensure that no one in Ward 1 is adversely impacted by environmental challenges.

I believe Fayetteville bears a special responsibility to our seniors, citizens with disabilities, and marginalized citizens. A truly inclusive community is one where all our citizens regardless of race, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, or non-beliefs, socioeconomic status, or education can thrive and experience a meaningful and focused quality of life and receive dignity and respect without reservation. I will work to support a hate crime ordinance that enhances penalties for crimes that target individuals because of their race, national origin, sexual origin, gender identity, or disability. Hate is not tolerated in Fayetteville. I will encourage and support marginalized groups to participate and serve on city boards and commissions; representation is critical. For me, constituent service is at the heart of being a councilman; a commitment to provide constituent service is more than a campaign promise. To fully represent the concerns of Ward 1, I commit to listening to your concerns. I will ensure that Ward 1 issues and concerns are addressed; full accessibility and transparency to city officials are necessary to Ward 1 growth and development. It is my responsibility and duty to listen and serve each member of Ward 1 without reservation.

As City Council member, I will bring that same pride, passion, and commitment to representing and advocating for all of Ward 1.

Is there anything in particular that drove you to move to Ward 1? How would you describe that part of town?

Ward 1 is one of the most diverse and vibrant in Fayetteville. The unique cultural diversity, accessibility, and potential for economic growth are values. Ward 1 offers opportunities for creativity through the arts and social cohesion. Whether it is a walking trail, a side street for bicycles or the ability to move around in a neighborhood is great quality. Families and children can enjoy the safety of nearby parks. Ward 1 residents take great pride in the community and prioritize safety, security, and environmental justice.

Which recent council decision(s) do you agree or disagree with?

Health is a human right. Public health is important because it ensures everyone is aware of public health hazards. As COVID-19 continues to ravage the community, I agree with the City Council’s proactiveness to effectively reach and protect citizens by reviving the Fayetteville Board of Health.