PROVIDENCE, R.I. – WRNI continues our series of profiles of the five candidates running for mayor of Providence. Democrat Christopher Young is making his third run to lead the city.
The 41-year-old Young lives on Smith Hill. He leads a group he created called the National Civil Rights Coalition. Young supports former Mayor Buddy Cianci's three cities plan to spark more development and open space. He also wants to impose property taxes on Brown University.
"I want to use that revenue to fund an online university, called the University of Providence, which will be an online university, similar to the University of Phoenix," Young says. "It will offer free education for any student within the city of Providence."
Young says he overcame a poor childhood to gain an electrical engineering degree and become a fighter for his favorite causes. He's a passionate opponent of abortion rights.
Young has run repeatedly for various offices, including mayor and U.S. senator - sometimes at the same time. His outbursts have led to his being thrown out of debates and forums. Young makes no apologies for this, or for singing a religious song during a recent televised interview.
"The song is definitely about the meat and potato issues of the City of Providence," Young says. "It's about people who acquire wealth, who have no consideration for the poor. It's about the poor's hope in times of trouble, in times of distress - you know, that they can turn to God."
Young might be a long shot. But for a candidate who says he won't take campaign contributions, he's gotten a lot of media attention.