June 8, 2020

Mayors for Tech Justice with Newport News Mayor McKinley Price

Bio McKinley L. Price is President of the African American Mayors Association and Mayor of Newport News, Virginia. He is a native of Newport News, Virginia. He graduated from Huntington High School in 1967 and then received his Bachelor of Arts...

McKinley Price


McKinley L. Price is President of the African American Mayors Association and Mayor of Newport News, Virginia. He is a native of Newport News, Virginia. He graduated from Huntington High School in 1967 and then received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Hampton Institute (now Hampton University) in Hampton, Virginia, in 1971. McKinley was honorably discharged from the United States Army in 1972 as 1st Lt. In 1976, he earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C., and performed his general anesthesia residency at Provident Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.


Dr. Price has received numerous honors and awards from various professional associations. In 1989, he was elected by his peers as President of the Peninsula Dental Society; he was the first black president of this organization. He was also named "Dentist of the Year" by the Old Dominion Dental Society. Dr. Price is a Fellow in the Virginia Dental Association, the American College of Dentists, and the International College of Dentists. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Delta Dental of Virginia, serving on the Audit and Compliance Committee and Dental Policy Advisory Committee.

Dr. Price’s community service was highlighted by his being appointed chair of the Newport News School Board for two years, during his eight years of service, from 1984-1992.

In 1994, Dr. Price received the President’s Humanitarian Award from the Virginia Peninsula Chapter of 100 Black Men and in 1996 he received the Presidential Citizenship Award from Hampton University. The Peninsula Chapter of the National Conference for Community and Justice presented him with their Humanitarian Award in 1996. In 1998, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated honored him as Citizen of the Year during the Mid-Atlantic 44th Annual Regional Conference. The Daily Press Newspaper awarded him “Citizen of the Year” for 2005, which highlighted his Co-Chairmanship of the organization People to People whose mission is to improve race relations and the quality of life in Newport News. It also commended him for being a founding member of the Virginia Peninsula Chapter of 100 Black Men. They recognized him as the Role Model of the Year in April 2011. Thomas Nelson Community College awarded him their TNCC Medallion Award during commencement exercises in May 2011. The Price Family was the Honored Family during the 2010 Hampton University’s Black Family Conference and he was the Founder’s Day speaker at Hampton in 2011.

In addition to the commitment he makes to his professional activities and meeting the demands a successful dental practice, Dr. Price devotes untiring energy and time to the Hampton and Newport News community. He has served as Chairman of the Board for Riverside Health System Foundation, Vice Chair of the Riverside Health System Board, and Immediate Past Chairman of the Thomas Nelson Community College Board. He was also appointed to the Newport News City Council for a five month period in 2004. In addition, Dr. Price was appointed by Governor Warner to the Virginia Economic Development Partnership Board. In May 2010, he was elected Mayor of the City of Newport News. He becomes the first black elected as mayor of Newport News. The term is four years.

Dr. Price is a member of the First Church of Newport News (Baptist), a church founded by his great-great-grandfather.

He is married to Valerie Scott Price. She is a retired educator having taught for 30 years, most of which were in the Newport News Public School System. They have two adult children and one grandson: McKinley II, DDS, an Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon, he and his wife Amy and their son live in Brooklyn, NY; and Marcia, a Delegate in the Virginia House of Delegates, representing the 95th District.


McKinley Price, The Need for Equitable Health Care Amid COVID-19, Governing, 2020, https://www.governing.com/now/The-Need-for-Equitable-Health-Care-Amid-COVID-19.html(last visited Jun 7, 2020).

Home, Ourmayors.org (2020), https://www.ourmayors.org/Home  (last visited Jun 7, 2020).

 COVID-19 Resources, Ourmayors.org (2020), https://www.ourmayors.org/Resources/COVID-19-Resources (last visited Jun 7, 2020).

News Roundup      

Despite threats from White House, social media companies crack down on misinformation

Despite president Trump’s continued claims that Silicon Valley, and social media companies in particular, harbor an anti-conservative bias, social media companies have stepped up their efforts to prevent a repeat performance of the 2016 election during which misinformation and state-sponsored propaganda ran rampant, often in favor of Trump’s presidency, according to the Mueller report and several other sources.

On Monday night, after a day of employee virtual walkouts at the company in response to Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg’s insistence on leaving up posts that contain misinformation, civil right leaders met with Zuckerberg via videocall and things did not go well.

Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights President Vanita Gupta, NAACP Legal Defense Fund head Sherrilyn Ifill, and Color of Change Executive Director Rashad Robinson issued a statement following the meeting stating that Zuckerberg “did not demonstrate understanding of historic or modern-day voter suppression and he refuses to acknowledge how Facebook is facilitating Trump's call for violence against protesters. Mark is setting a very dangerous precedent for other voices who would say similar harmful things on Facebook.” Zuckerberg followed up with a company memo on Friday saying the social media giant was again in the process of reviewing its policies related to discussions about police brutality and voter suppression.  Before Zuckerberg’s announcement, the company had already begun making the public aware of foreign interference on the platform by labeling state-sponsored posts

Following the meeting with civil rights leaders and Mr. Zuckerberg’s announcement, Facebook, citing copyright concerns, removed a campaign video in which the president appeared to pay tribute to George Floyd. The company cited copyright concerns for taking down the video, after it had received complaints from the artist who’d created some of the artwork featured in the video. Twitter had also removed the video, which the White House called an illegal escalation – Twitter denied that removing the video was illegal and also cited to the president’s use of copyrighted material.

Facebook also removed some 200 accounts associated with white supremacy groups last week. The company also removed fake antifa accounts, according to Reuters.

Over at Reddit, some subreddit pages went dark in protest over the company’s hate speech policy, which leans heavily in favor of free speech. The protest culminated in Reddit Co-Founder Alex Ohanian’s resignation from the board and calling for his seat to be filled by an African-American board member. Ohanian also indicated that he would be donating $1 million to Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp and investing future gains on his stock in the black community.

Also, on Wednesday, Snapchat announced that it would no longer promote President Trump’s account due to the president’s promotion of violence during protests over the weekend before last. 

Finally, the Center for Democracy and Technology sued the White House in the DC Circuit last week over the president’s executive order directing the independent Federal Communications Commission and Federal Trade Commission to work together, along with the Department of Commerce, to curtail enforcement of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The president issued the order after Twitter flagged one of the president’s tweets as misleading, and a tweet in which the president criticized California Governor Gavin Newsom’s executive order to allow mail-in ballots.

Elon Musk calls for Amazon break-up

Elon Musk took to Twitter calling for a break-up of Amazon, which he labelled a monopoly.  The tweet came in response to a tweet by a New York Times reporter who’d written that Amazon had rejected his new book about COVID-19 on the grounds that it didn’t meet Amazon’s guidelines. Amazon has since stated that it removed the book in error.

TikTok pledges to amplify black creators

 TikTok pledged to amplify black creators last week amidst criticism that it censored and suppressed content posted by blacks. The company stated that it would form a creator diversity council and a handful of other initiatives to address these concerns. The company also participated in the music industry-led “Blackout Tuesday” during which the company shut down its Sounds page. It also announced that it would invest $3 million in organizations that work to address black inequality (although the company didn’t mention which organizations it plans to invest in).

Senators criticize AT&T on zero-rating

In a letter to AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, Senators Ed Markey and Ron Wyden criticized AT&T for zero-rating its own content on HBO. Zero-rating is the industry jargon used to describe the anticompetitive practice in which carriers count the use of competing platforms against their customers’ data limits but not their own content, in this case HBO, which AT&T acquired in 2018, along with HBO’s parent company WarnerMedia. The Senators set a response deadline of June 25th.

Zoom announces end-to-end encryption for paying subscribers only

Videoconference platform Zoom announced that it would be introducing end-to-end encryption, but only for paying subscribers. The company says doing so will allow it to work with the FBI to identify child pornographers and sex traffickers. However, Zoom made no reference to any evidence correlating free usership to the distribution of illegal content at a rate that exceeds the that of paid subscribers.

California assembly introduces facial recognition bill

The California Assembly is now considering a bill that would allow the State of California to conduct surveillance using facial recognition technology, if it gives notice ahead of time. The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California is opposing the measure on the grounds that it undercuts limitations on the use of facial recognition technology which are already in place in some local areas including San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley.

Denver cop fired for inciting a riot over Instagram during George Floyd protests

Tommy McClay, a former police officer in Denver posed with two other cops for an Instagram photo for which he wrote “let’s start a riot”. That night, Denver police used tear gas and foam bullets against protesters, according to Ars Technica. The Denver Police Department fired McClay for the post. McClay was a brand new recruit—just 9 months out of the police academy—and so still subject to the initial probationary period of his tenure there. But one civil rights leader in Denver told Ars that the Denver Police Department has a high rate of re-hiring officers who were previously fired.