Below I've outlined my stance on a number of important issues facing our community.
If you would like to discuss any of these topics or any I haven't addressed below, please feel free to reach out to me any time!
The zip code you live in should not determine your ability to find gainful employment, support your family, and get ahead in life.
We need to ensure that all corners of our community see public and private economic investment. We have worked towards this goal by establishing the Frenchtown Placemaking Plan, the Greater Bond Neighborhood First Plan, and by supporting South City in its designation as a Purpose Built Community.
In order to make economic vitality possible for all our residents, we must make sure that access to quality jobs exists throughout our entire community.
As the Capital City of Florida and home to two world-class public universities, Tallahassee is a prime location for any business to grow. We must ensure that economic growth and development are measured, carefully planned for, and targeted to the parts of our community most in need of economic investment.
My background in strategic planning has helped me tremendously as the City and the joint City/County Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency have considered and addressed new development during my time serving in both bodies.
I hold the Tallahassee Police Department to the highest standards in all aspects of their work in our community. Crime hurts everyone in our community. Tallahassee is brought down by a chronically high crime rate and incidents of police violence which do not make residents feel safe and which discourage economic investment in our community.
The City Commission recently voted to establish an independent Citizen Review Board to provide oversight in the wake of officer-involved shootings, but our goal must be to eliminate these incidents in the first place.
I believe it is important for the City Commission to focus its resources on programs such as Build Up Tallahassee and TEMPO which educate and train young adults and help them find steady and gainful employment.
City Ethics Standards
It is critical that we build upon the ethics standards currently in place to ensure that no impropriety occurs near or within City Hall. I support the ethics commission but we also need to put processes in place that will prevent another Scott Maddox episode, which our current ethics commission did not prevent.
Simply put, we must do better.
I am proud of the ethics reform package that we passed last year, which completely banned gifts to City employees from anyone who does or wishes to do business with the City, expanded the jurisdiction of the Independent Ethics Board, and expanded financial reporting requirements. We also recently established an Inspector General to oversee whistleblower complaints and a new fraud hotline.
I have owned a small business in our community for more than 20 years, so I deeply understand the importance of long-term strategic planning for any operation. Last year we established the City of Tallahassee's 2024 Strategic Plan, which established metrics to assess our progress on a number of important goals.
As a City Commissioner I want to continue shaping the future of our community through inclusive strategic planning that includes housing for an aging and diverse population and responsiveness to all residents.
As our community continues to grow, we must make sure that housing keeps up with our increasing population. I demand standards that will ensure that new developments include affordable housing options for everyday people and have done so in my time on the City Commission.
Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA)
It is time for the Community Redevelopment Agency, or CRA, to focus on large-scale projects in Frenchtown and South City to bring economic vitality to these areas. We also must strengthen oversight of the CRA to ensure that all tax dollars are allocated properly and effectively.
We must continue to advance the gender equality standards set forth by the City to ensure that no one is denied an opportunity based on their gender.
In June of 2019 we took an important step by expanding the City's paid leave policy to include paid paternity leave for new fathers along with paid maternity leave for new mothers.
As we consider candidates to fill the position of Executive Director of the CRA, I will prioritize candidates that are committed to focusing on Frenchtown and South City, and who are eager for openness and transparency.
Our community must continue to be a space in which all citizens can thrive, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
I am extremely proud that the City of Tallahassee has been recognized nationally as an LGBT Inclusive Municipal Employer by the Human Rights Campaign.