UAFS Student Running for Mayor Wants to “Make Fort Smith Great Again”
At 22-years-old, Luis Andrade is an immigrant, a veteran, and a UAFS student who is running for mayor with the slogan, “Make Fort Smith Great Again.”
Andrade is originally from Brazil, but has lived in Fort Smith and for a majority of his life, and attended high school in Cedarville, Arkansas.
“I want to run for mayor because I believe the city could be ran much more efficiently, we need more young people to step up, the city needs transparency, and also we need true conservative people in the government.”
Andrade is enthusiastic about the future of Fort Smith, and he says that conservatism can help that. “We see the way City Hall is acting right now, they just added another fee on businesses, one hundred dollars a year, it’s little things like that.”
As mayor, Andrade would put a lot of focus into making Fort Smith more business friendly because he views that as a way to make Fort Smith great again.
Andrade isn’t set to graduate until August 2018, if he were to win, he would be a student and mayor simultaneously. He is confident he will be able to manage both because they will be his main focus as he does not have a family, like the other candidate.
He hopes to improve Fort Smith so that young people do not feel like they need to leave town after finishing school. “I love Fort Smith, but I want to make a change and differences. I want to represent the young people in city hall, and reduce the exodus of young people. We need transparency in city hall, and right now people don’t have a voice.”
With the prospect of representing the people in city hall, Andrade would like to create an app to help citizens voice their judgement on the issues that city hall votes on. “I want to create an app that posts every single thing that the directors are going to vote on, so that people can express their opinion.”
So, what makes Fort Smith not great now? According to Andrade, “Our values have switched from God, I’m a Christian, I believe we need to bring God back into our schools, and bring back family values. We need to implement leaders who will uphold these values.”
Andrade is very confident he will be able to fulfil the promises he is making, “I can absolutely achieve everything… In the form of governing we have right now in City Hall, we need a mayor that can represent the people, because if we don’t then the board of directors just dictates everything. I will put pressure on the board if they are not representing what the people want.”
Despite being unusually young to be running for mayor, Andrade is positive he is qualified.
“I think that anyone with the right intentions is qualified. Experience is great but if you get hired for a job and you have the right intentions you are going to get in there and learn what you need to learn and do your job.”
Andrade summed up his campaign platform as, “Fort Smith needs change and a fresh perspective on how to solve the issues we are facing. We need a statesman and not a politician, and as of right now I am the only one that can bring that to the table. Someone who stands up for the people, and leads by example.”
He can be found on Facebook at "Andrade for Mayor 2018" or at his website https://andradeforfortsmith.com/