Charlottesville City Council
|Election||Nov. 8, 2011|
|For term to start||2012|
|Date of birth||July 3, 1979
|Place of birth||Canton, Illinois|
|Alma mater||Western Illinois University, Anthropology & Native American Studies|
James Halfaday placed last in a seven-person race for the Democratic nomination for three seats on the Charlottesville City Council in the 2011 election. In June 2013, he was ordered to leave Virginia after pleading guilty to a voter fraud and parole violations. 
During the campaign, Halfaday claimed to be a part-owner of Snap Fitness, a 24-hour-a-day fitness club. In early September, lawyers for the club's actual owners sent a letter to the Hook asking them to stop referring to Halfaday as an owner.  The Charlottesville Electoral Board investigated whether Halfaday committed election fraud by stating he was a co-owner of the gym on his electoral paperwork.  He was charged with four felony counts of election fraud for putting a false address on his election papers.  He appeared before the grand jury on February 21, 2012  and was indicted on one count of election fraud.  Halfaday plead guilty to the charge and will be sentenced on July 5, 2012.  However, Halfaday was charged with violating his parole in January 2013 and he was sent to the Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail.  In June 2013, he was ordered to leave the state and his mother picked him to drive him back to Illinois to begin his life anew. 
2011 election for City Council
Late in the campaign, Halfaday came forward alleging his campaign had received threats because of his sexual orientation. 
Charlottesville Democrats Candidate Video
Do you support construction of the Meadow Creek Parkway in the city?
- Yes.This issue has been debated and discussed for far too many years already. Further delay is only going to take up the time and effort of the council that is sorely needed on other critical topics. Solutions to controversial issues like this will never satisfy everyone completely, but continuing to postpone and delay when a decision has been made, especially after being debated as much as this one, doesn’t benefit anyone. I hope that both city and county governments will learn from this project, and that future projects of a similar nature will have a faster, more peaceful resolution.
Do you support the approved water supply plan or a different approach?
- I do not, at the moment, support the currently approved water supply plan and believe that dredging and possibly a small increase in the current dam, as proposed by Dave Norris, is an environmentally and financially sounder approach that will still meet the city’s water needs. However, I recognize that there is currently a lot of conflicting data about this issue. Our water supply is a crucial issue, and I would like to see further independent assessments of all of the various options so that City Council can make an informed decision and move forward with the best solution.
What is the most important thing the city can do to create jobs?
- The city needs to continue to promote and encourage the establishment and growth of small businesses. Charlottesville’s job market is built on small businesses and not on large companies or heavy industry. One way to help the residents of our community start small businesses is to ensure educational opportunities are available for all.This will lead to a more highly skilled local workforce, which in turn will lead to an increase in the establishment of new businesses. Direct city involvement in new job creation should focus on jobs with the opportunity for advancement, and the development of marketable work skills.
Does the city have an affordable housing problem? What should council do?
- Although projects like the Crossings at Fourth and Preston help, Charlottesville, like many other cities across the country, continues to struggle with the issue of affordable housing. It is not sufficient to increase the supply of new, low-cost housing, since many low-cost housing units result from the aging of housing that was originally more expensive. An effective housing plan should address the needs of families and individuals of all income levels. Another avenue to address the problem is to increase the median education and income level of our residents, which will reduce the need for lowincome housing.
What should the city do on the issue of addressing poverty?
- Although the poverty level has decreased to 21.4 percent, the lowest since 2004, poverty remains an important issue in Charlottesville. The keys to combating poverty are ensuring the availability of affordable housing, essential services and educational opportunities for low income residents, and providing upwardly mobile job opportunities. Government funding can address some of these needs, but individuals and nonprofit organizations must play a role also. When the Haven opened in January of 2010, it was thanks primarily to the generosity of one man, Tom Shadyac, and he has given us all an example of generosity and compassion towards people in poverty.
What is the city’s biggest challenge in transportation?
- Charlottesville’s biggest transportation challenge is improving the quality of its alternative transportation options. Encouraging the use of other modes of transport will become increasingly important as the congestion level in and around Charlottesville grows. We need to look at having better sidewalks, more extensive bike paths, and a mass transit system that provides more complete geographical coverage of the city for more extensive hours. None of these issues are glaring problems, but we could improve in all of those areas, and provide a much friendlier city for alternative transportation. A related issue is the lack of any incentive for carpooling.
What will be your top priority if elected?
- All of the issues specifically mentioned here relate to the quality of life for the residents of our city. Ultimately, a member of any community deserves an equal opportunity to achieve their goals and have a prosperous, happy life. I believe that education is the key to providing this and will make education at all levels my primary goal.
In April 2012, Halfaday made comments at a public forum on racial profiling in Charlottesville. 
- Web. Recount looms as Smith, Galvin, Huja get nod, Graham Moomaw, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, August 21, 2011, retrieved September 12, 2011.
- Web. Halfaday ordered to leave Virginia, Bryan McKenzie, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, June 28, 2013, retrieved July 1, 2013.
- Web. Oh, Snap! Halfaday gym ownership claim refuted, Lisa Provence, The Hook, Better Publications LLC, September 12, 2011, retrieved September 12, 2011.
- Web. Officials expected to discuss possible false statements by Halfaday, Graham Moomaw, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, retrieved September 14, 2011.
- Web. Halfaday balks: Charges dropped against campaign worker, Lisa Provence, The Hook, Better Publications LLC, November 7, 2011, retrieved November 10, 2011. Print. November 10, 2011 , 1045, .
- Web. Halfaday in court on election fraud charges, Daily Progress Staff Reports, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, January 26, 2012, retrieved January 30, 2012.
- Web. Ex-City Council candidate indicted on 1 count of election fraud, Daily Progress Staff Reports, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, retrieved February 23, 2012.
- Web. Ex-Charlottesville City Council candidate admits election fraud, Associated Press, Richmond Times-Dispatch, March 7, 2012, retrieved March 9, 2012.
- Web. [http://www.dailyprogress.com/news/article_c61f8bce-6058-11e2-bccd-001a4bcf6878.html Home News Former Charlottesville City Council candidate charged with felony probation violation], Daily Progress Staff Reports, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, January 16, 2013, retrieved January 28, 2013.
- Web. Citizens Appointed to Boards and Commissions, News and press releases, official site, City of Charlottesville, 11/4/2009
- Web. Candidate Halfaday says he's been getting anti-gay messages, Graham Moomaw, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, August 19, 2011, retrieved August 19, 2011.
- Web. Democratic hopefuls weigh in on the issues, Graham Moomaw, The Daily Progress, 14 August 2011, retrieved 15 August 2011.
- Web. Racial Profiling Talks Heat Up In Charlottesville, Greg Waller, NBC29, April 11, 2012, retrieved April 12, 2012.