C. Bradley Hunt II is arrested with fellow activists Cherrell Brown and Wesley Morris in May 2010 after a sit-in on the Greensboro City Council dais to protest alleged police corruption in May 2010. (file photo)
This year’s city council race features an influx of younger candidates, a handful of them in their twenties, and C. Bradley Hunt II is the youngest. As far as he is concerned, his youthfulness is an asset.
“That which I lack in experience I make up for in enthusiasm,” Hunt said. “I do mean business. Historically young people have changed this nation.”
The 24-year old A&T senior and political science major might be young, but he is no newcomer to politics. Hunt, a Greensboro native, has campaigned for Gladys Robinson, Marcus Brandon, and Barack Obama. Hunt serves on the Guilford County Community Political Action Committee and the executive board of the Greensboro NAACP.
He is a part of A&T’s Political Science Society and cofounded “The Movement,” a campus group aiming to involve students in civic issues off campus. And, in 2010, Hunt served as Greensboro’s mayor for one minute during a civil disobedience action by the Spirit of the Sit-in Movement Initiative to protest the council’s unwillingness to adequately address the group’s concerns about a number of issues, particularly police corruption and the White Street landfill.
“Martin Luther King Jr. said, ‘It’s always the right time to do the right thing,’” said Hunt, who added that he has matured since the city council action. “When you take a stand, the people will stand with you.”
After considering a run in the last election, Hunt decided to throw his hat in the ring challenging Jim Kee for the District 2 seat because he says Kee hasn’t taken a strong stance on important issues.
Hunt’s approach to leadership is central to the campaign and sets him apart from the other candidates, he said. Instead of formulating positions on issues, Hunt said he would vote according to what his constituents want. His campaign to reach out and listen to constituents is well under way: Hunt said he knocked on approximately 500 doors this summer.
“This campaign, in a sense, has nothing to do with me, it’s about giving people back their seat and vote on council,” he said. “It’s very important to build relationships and for people to be able to trust you, and in turn you have to be accountable.”
As an example, Hunt said that Kee often differs from his constituents on the landfill, trying to reduce the negative impact of opening it or proposing technological advances.
“He has never taken a stand on an issue since he’s been on council,” Hunt said. “Silence unintentionally allows evil to flourish. We cannot tolerate and allow a leader who won’t take a stand. The landfill is a nonstarter and we will not compromise on this issue.”
Hunt takes issue with other things the current council has done too, including cuts to early voting, the forced resignation of the city attorney, and moving speakers from the floor to the end of council meetings, he said.
But Hunt said his central campaign issues are job creation, economic development, transportation infrastructure and coming up with a long-term solid waste solution.
Referencing the old saying that teaching a man to fish is more valuable than giving him one, Hunt said helping the unemployed develop job skills is important, but added, “the people in my district do not have anywhere to fish. We need to create streams, rivers, oceans.”
Hunt, who lives off campus with his family, said one problem with economic development is barriers to employment, citing the difficulty convicted felons face when looking for work.
In addition to politics, spirituality is the other major part of Hunt’s life. He grew up attending New Light Missionary Baptist Church, where he is still active. His pastor, the Rev. Cardes Brown Jr., is like a father to him, but Hunt said Brown discouraged him from running for office.
“I’m a man of faith and strong religious belief,” Hunt said. “ I take my relationship with Christ very seriously.”
Not surprisingly, then, when he has time for reading outside of school he often reaches for the Bible. Hunt is also reading The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander. One day, Hunt wants to be a civil rights attorney.“At this point, a change from the status quo is necessary,” said Hunt. “[This] ultra-conservative council is not safe for the city. I see an opportunity for myself and the citizens of District 2 to really come together and inspire.”