A CITIZEN PLATFORM
The City of Gainesville works very well if you are a “stakeholder” or a wealthy institution. It doesn’t work so well for most of the citizens that keep Gainesville going. A recent United Way study proves that 50% of our neighbors who are employed struggle to make ends meet and live paycheck to paycheck. Our current mayor has failed to demand that local institutions share their prosperity and resources with our city. As your next mayor, I will make those demands.
MOVING FORWARD ON EQUITY ISSUES
As your Mayor, I will demand that the University of Florida implement a PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) program to pay its fair share of taxes. This is happening across the country, and we can do it here.
The city employee living wage issue has been stagnant at the City for two years. We must set a better example and raise the bar for other employers.
We must close the loopholes that allow contractors with the City to pay starvation wages and take money out of our neighbors’ pockets. There are good local contractors ready to do business with us. We should welcome them.
We continue to lose poorly paid bus drivers to big cities. This hurts working families and our affordable transit system.
Gainesville taxpayers have shown they are willing to pay for children’s services, parks, and public spaces. Developers need to pay their fair share too. The “Department of Doing” was created by a pro-developer mayor and commissioners many years ago, and it continues under our current leadership. It needs to be remade into a “Department of Urban Planning” that puts citizen needs first.
We must incentivize rehabilitating affordable neighborhoods instead of making them too expensive to live in. Gentrification creates more segregation.
We should welcome the University of Florida into our public utility. UF cannot meet its sustainability goals with Duke Energy, who relies entirely on non-renewable natural gas. The City’s own Utilities Advisory Board supports this transition, but the current mayor has not been a leader on this issue.
RESPONSIBLE AND ACCOUNTABLE GOVERNMENT
An emerging minority representation on the Commission wants more open government at both the elected and management level. Elected officials make policy and set the agenda, city management implements it. Staff resources are limited, so people looking to make dollars should stand in line behind people trying to make change.
We must create a safe workplace where staff can address equity and management issues. There have been too many firings and forced resignations. I will help return morale to our city workers.
We will approve a strong renters’ rights program that is accountable to working people, not to slumlords. Our government doesn’t have the resources to help slumlords stay in business.
We should continue to help GPD Chief Tony Jones redirect public safety resources away from petty drug war offenses to protecting families and children.
PROTECT OUR CHILDREN’S FUTURE
The City continues bad growth, traditional development, and damaging annexations away from affordable transit and employer rich areas. Generations will pay for these mistakes. We have to explain to the public why they must stop.
Local agency and government conservation efforts outside and around Gainesville encourage density affordable living in Gainesville. We must continue to support efforts to keep bad development out of our wild spaces.
We do not have good impact fees for growth. Working class people are subsidizing development. This must stop. We must coordinate with County, township, and School Board officials and citizens to correct this.