Gainesville’s environment is one of our community’s greatest assets. As your city commissioner I will work to protect it for our children. I am in favor of investing in renewable energy sources to ensure we have a well-balanced energy portfolio. Climate change is the defining issue of our time, and Gainesville has been, and should continue to be, a leader in solving that issue. As a chef I was always taught that to waste is wrong, from that I am a big supporter of the Zero Waste Gainesville initiative to improve our recycling and reduce our waste. I am in favor of protecting our tree canopy. Our trees are an important part of making Gainesville beautiful, green, and healthy. I support protecting sensitive environmental land in our area, and support many of the initiatives that the city of Gainesville has been leading on in this area with projects such as Depot Park, Sweetwater Wetlands Park, and the Weiss Property. The Weiss property is one of our areas most sensitive environmental areas. On the commission, I will vote to protect environmental land like this.”
Protecting our city’s local control
Between Rick Scott and Donald Trump, the city of Gainesville’s rights to govern ourselves has been under constant attack. From mass deportations, to special interest lobbying, to zoning, they want our community to take on their agenda. I believe local government should stay local, and I will stand against the Trump agenda and Tallahassee politicians who believe they know what’s best for our community.
Gainesville is one of the most economically segregated cities in the country and that needs to change. To confront economic segregation, affordable housing needs to be at the forefront of the conversation. One way affordable housing can be developed is through inclusionary zoning, which requires a percentage of homes in a new development to be affordable to low or moderate-income residents. In exchange for making homes affordable, the zoning programs will offset some of the development costs. If we work with community leaders, developers, and environmentalists we can make sure affordable housing is a realistic and effective solution. I will also work on supporting our homeless population. I strongly support the work being done at Grace, we should be doing more to help our most vulnerable residents.
I also believe Gainesville should be leading the way toward paying workers a wage they can raise a family on. This begins with us and our employees. I acommitteded to paying our city workers a living wage.
Everyone in Gainesville needs to have a seat at the table. Residents should be consistently included in the conversation of making Gainesville a better place to live. By making city meetings more accessible, we can do exactly that. The technology available to us today allows us to be constantly connected, and we should be using that to our advantage. With Live Stream, residents can watch, comment and ask questions during meetings. With social media, residents can be updated on what decisions are being made, and by who. We have a responsibility to increase transparency and involvement.
Internet access is one of the most critical utilities of the 21st century. It’s where we educate our children, look for work, communicate with loved ones, and relax after a long day. The internet options in our area are not adequately meeting the needs of our community. Gainesville’s internet prices are some of the highest in the state, with many in our area unable to acquire basic broadband internet at all. Everyone should be connected to high-speed internet in their home at an affordable rate. We can, and must, do better as a city.
East Side Development
I graduated from East Side High and live on the east side. For as long as I’ve lived here we have talked about growing the economy of east Gainesville. It’s a big challenge, but one we can solve with better transportation, focusing on job creation on the east side, and improving affordable housing options.
Small Business Development
As a small business owner and operator, I know it can be hard to find community support. I will work to change that. Small businesses in Gainesville need to be protected and commercial rents need to be affordable.
It should be a realistic dream to own your own business. We can create more opportunities to do exactly that by increasing economic development in the area and making it our mission to work with small business owners.
Small businesses are one of the many things that make Gainesville diverse, exciting, and unique. We should be doing everything in our power to preserve that.
Gainesville works to accommodate all forms of transportation including, walking, biking, driving, and busing. However, I think we can do better. I want a city where it’s plausible and safe to walk in, where there are no traffic fatalities, and where the public bus system is accessible and consistent. A city that doesn’t limit where we can go.
Gainesville Regional Utilities
I’m a single mother and small business owner and I know affordable utility rates are crucial to families and businesses. I will work to lower utility rates in our area. I am also a firm believer that the people should have control of their utility, and we should not be handing that over to unelected political appointees.
Gainesville should be a diverse and welcoming place for all of our citizens, including immigrants, those with differing abilities, all cultures and ethnicities,LGBTQ, those of all faiths, and all who are marginalized. I am a strong supporter of immigrants to our area, and of protecting those already here. This city should be a safe haven for people of all races and ethnicities. I will stand against any effort by the Trump administration to use Gainesvilles Police Force to conduct deportations. I believe special attention must be taken to issues regarding minorities in the city especially the African American community. I support the Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative that will promote equality by significantly expanding voting rights in the state of Florida.
Moving Elections to the Fall
I’m in favor. This will save the city money and gets more people engaged in the process. City turnout rates are low and every year they are getting lower. I believe our democracy is best when more people are engaged in the process, and I am in favor of moving the elections to fall.