Office Hours and Upcoming Meetings

ACLC Office

502 NW 16th Ave, Ste. 2B, Gainesville, Florida
Phone: 352-375-2832
Office Hours:
Mon: 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Tues: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Wed: 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Thur: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

See all events and details on the ACLC Facebook Events page!

  • October 23, 6 PM:
    • ACLC General Meeting
    • Location: Mennonite Church (1236 NW 18 Ave, Gainesville, FL 32609)
  • November 6, 6pm:
    • ACLC Board Meeting
    • Location: ACLC Office
  • November 13, 6pm:
    • Just Health Care Meeting
    • Location: ACLC Office
  • November 27, 6 PM
    • ACLC General Meeting
    • Location: Mennonite Church (1236 NW 18 Ave, Gainesville, FL 32609)
  • December 18, 6 PM
    • ACLC Holiday Party
    • Location: TBD

General Membership Meetings are the fourth Tuesday of each month, at 6pm.

Upcoming Board Meetings, at the ACLC Office at 6pm:  Nov. 13, Dec 4.

Tina Certain – Alachua County School Board District 1 – Questionnaire

1) Do you support paying a living wage to all School Board workers including part-time, temporary, seasonal, and contracted workers? (The ACLC defines a living wage as 125% of the Federal Poverty Level – currently $14.78 an hour).

Yes

a. How will you ensure contracted workers are paid the set wage?

To ensure that workers are paid the living wage, the requirement needs to be adopted by ordinance or policy by majority of board.  I would support that policy. The Increased costs would have to be incorporated into the budget.

b. What is your plan to get us there?

After an initial increase, have a phase in period of say 3 years to get all employees to the 14.78/hr or indexed rate.

c. What ideas do you have to help improve wages and benefits for workers throughout our community?

Pay and benefits usually correlate to skill set; those with greater skills usually fair better in the job market.  Increase vocational and career technical training in high school, apprenticeships and/or post-secondary training would prepare our local workforce for jobs that offer higher wages and benefits.

2) Do you support providing paid administrative leave for part-time, temporary, seasonal, and contracted school board workers in the event of emergency work closures (e.g., hours missed due to Hurricanes)?

Yes.  I support providing paid administrative leave for part-time, temporary, seasonal and contracted school board workers in the event of emergency work closures for natural disasters like hurricanes.  The money has already been budgeted and the employee would have worked if the disaster had not occurred.

3) Do you support a “Renters Bill of Rights’” which would:

  • inform renters of their rights under existing laws
  • offer an alternative to costly courts to settle disputes over security deposits and damages
  • protect renters from high utility bills by enacting policies that require landlords to make basic investments in energy efficiency

Yes

4) Do you support a local hiring preference that includes the use of certified apprenticeship programs for taxpayer funded projects?

Yes

Randy Wells – Alachua County Commission District 2 Candidate Questionnaire

1) Do you support paying a living wage to all County workers including part-time, temporary, seasonal, and contracted workers? (The ACLC defines a living wage as 125% of the Federal Poverty Level – currently $14.78 an hour).

I absolutely support paying all public employees and contractors a living wage, thereby serving as a role model for other employers throughout the county. I specifically support the pledge to budget funds to bring all employees up to $15 an hour, and the existing county ordinance that requires contractors to pay a minimum wage of $13 per hour plus benefits or $15.04 without benefits.

a. How will you ensure contracted workers are paid the set wage?

I strongly support the existing right of contracted workers, if they are not paid the required minimum wage, to file a Wage Recovery Complaint through the Alachua County Equal Opportunity Office. I am open to strengthening this process if needed.

b. What is your plan to get us there?

A living wage for all public employees and contractors is within reach, and I will be a determined voice to get there and stay there. However, political and budget constraints remain a challenge to keep that wage from being eroded by inflation and living costs. For example, the Federal minimum wage in 1968 was approximately $11.60 per hour, adjusted for inflation.

The only way to achieve that goal, given limited resources, is to insist on quality, collaborative management that empowers every staff person to create great value and a meaningful career path. As county commissioner, the challenge of quality management will be the metric by which I judge our top management—and in particular the rubric for selecting and evaluating our county manager.

To protect the living wage, we must capture the benefits of paying a living wage. Providing a living wage will help us build and retain local talent, and help address wide income disparity throughout the county—saving dollars and strengthening the local workforce. Investing in the skills of our staff will create value to both the employee and the taxpayer.

c. What ideas do you have to help improve wages and benefits for workers throughout our community?

My campaign is all about improving the livelihood of workers across Alachua County. My vision is to make ours a premiere “community of opportunity”—and my election would be a strong message by voters that all local stakeholders—public and private—must work together in that cause.

Thus, I am discussing specific policy proposals with voters across the county, in six areas:

1) Healthy Environment for All; 2) Wages; 3) Apprenticeships; 4) Entrepreneurship for All; 5) Quality, Integrated, and Affordable Homes; and 6) Safe & Accessible Transportation. Progress in each of these areas will help improve the livelihoods of all workers, and I have a track record both as a city commissioner and civic activist leading, advocating, and voting for action in each of the six policy areas.

Wages are one critical part of improving the quality of life for all residents. I will be a steady but strong voice encouraging every major employer to join the cause for living wages.

Over the long term, we must continue to grow our local economy, primarily by investing in the skills of our residents. And we must celebrate the many private employers already paying living wages or better—and encourage more to join us through efforts such as the ACLC’s Living Wage Certification Project. I am proud to have encouraged many business owners I know to pursue certification.

I also support the two ballot initiatives that will help make 2018 the Year of the Child in Alachua County, and will do much to help the livelihood of families with children: The Children’s Services Council, and the School Facilities Sales Tax.

2) Do you support providing paid administrative leave for part-time, temporary, seasonal, and contracted county workers in the event of emergency work closures (e.g., hours missed due to Hurricanes)?

Absolutely yes. All county workers should receive the same leave benefits in the event of emergency work closures. We can no longer leave our most vulnerable workers and their families “out in the cold” during times of emergency—precisely when income is most needed to deal with crisis.

3) Do you support a “Renters Bill of Rights’” which would:

  • inform renters of their rights under existing laws
  • offer an alternative to costly courts to settle disputes over security deposits and damages
  • protect renters from high utility bills by enacting policies that require landlords to make basic investments in energy efficiency

Yes. We can and should do a better job of informing renters of their rights and provide an easier way for renters and property owners to cheaply adjudicate disputes. I propose that the county establish a special magistrate (similar to one I helped establish for city codes enforcement) to adjudicate disputes under the proposed “Renters Bill of Rights” ordinance. I also support requirements for landlords to make basic investments in energy efficiency, provided they can be shown to be cost effective, and will seek ways to cheaply finance those improvements so as to not harm landlords make those investments.

4) Do you support a local hiring preference that includes the use of certified apprenticeship programs for taxpayer funded projects?

Yes. I favor a local hiring preference (as clearly provided for in state law) for taxpayer funded projects, to include the use of high quality, certified apprenticeship programs. Hiring local talent and expertise ensures our tax dollars stay within our community and support additional local jobs and business development. Apprenticeship programs are an excellent way to develop our local workforce and the county can be a leader in supporting these programs. My vision (outlined above) includes making Alachua County known as Apprenticeship Central – with an eventual goal of creating or maintaining 2500 paid apprenticeships and internships countywide.

Gunnar Paulson – Alachua County School Board District 3 Questionnaire

1) Do you support paying a living wage to all School Board workers including part-time, temporary, seasonal, and contracted workers? (The ACLC defines a living wage as 125% of the Federal Poverty Level- currently $14.78 an hour).

Yes

a. How will you ensure contracted workers are paid the set wage?

This is one of the five priorities of our strategic plan. This ensures it will be part of the budget being developed at the present time as the strategic plan drives the budget.

b. What is your plan to get us there?                                                                                       

We will raise the minimum wage significantly more than the overall raise given. We have adhered to this the last two years by increasing the minimum wage by 13%.This is in comparison to an overall 4% raise. Both the union and our staff have been informed they need to continue working on the salary schedule to keep its integrity so that we can continue to raise the minimum wage towards our goal of at least $15 per hour including health insurance. I say at least because we provide 100% paid health insurance to any employee who works at least half time. (Half time is defined as 4 hrs). I brought up two years ago during our setting of our priorities that we needed to raise the minimum wage. This will continue to be a major priority of mine. I have made it known to our staff an added increase to the minimum wage  must be budgeted right at the beginning of the budget process each year for us to continue to progress towards our goal and I will not agree to any budget that does not continue to make progress towards reaching this goal.

c. What ideas do you have to help improve wages and benefits for workers throughout our community?

I served as chairman of the health insurance committee while union president and wrote the committees long range plan. We have kept the costs of our health care plan down by making subtle changes when needed allowing our employees to have health insurance fully paid by the district with good benefits while freeing up money like we did last year that can be used for raises and help raise the minimum wage. Every board member, commissioner, etc should look for ways to find money and then use the money for wages and benefits. I see the ultimate solution is that we provide universal single payer health insurance. In the meantime we will continue to provide Health Insurance free of charge.

2) Do you support providing paid administrative leave for part-time, temporary, seasonal, and contracted city workers in the event of emergency work closures (e.g. hours missed due to Hurricanes)?

Yes! Specifically we had an experience with Hurricane Irma last year. We operated shelters not only for our local community, but for people coming from as far away as Miami. Our schools were closed for 6 days. If an ESP (custodian, aides, etc.) worked at a shelter or school during this time, they received overtime pay. If a teacher or administrator worked when they didn’t have to work they received their regular pay because they were not allowed to receive overtime pay. Even our after school employees were made whole. No employees lost money because of lost hours. We were willing to go to great lengths to make sure all our employees were not penalized by an emergency work closure. We are still waiting for some reimbursement from FEMA, but this may take some time. (Years)

3) Do you support a “Renters Bill of Rights” which would:

  • Inform renters of their rights under existing law
  • Offer an alternative to costly courts to settle disputes over security deposits and damages
  • protects renters from high utility bills by enacting policies that require
  • Landlords to make basic investments in energy efficiency.

YES!

5) Do you support a local hiring preference that includes the use of certified? Apprenticeship programs for taxpayer funded programs?

YES!

 

Rob Hyatt – Alachua County School Board District 5 Questionnaire

1) Do you support paying a living wage to all School Board workers including part-time, temporary, seasonal, and contracted workers? (The ACLC defines a living wage as 125% of the Federal Poverty Level – currently $14.78 an hour).

Yes.

a. How will you ensure contracted workers are paid the set wage.

I am in favor of adopting policies that will protect contracted workers.  If the half-cent sales tax initiative is approved by the voters there will be an abundance of opportunities for local builders and contractors and there should be a strong incentive to follow guidelines. I would appreciate input from the ACLC in this matter.

b. What is your plan to get us there?

I would like to set a plan to reach a living wage over a six-year period.  An hourly increase (for educational service professionals and part-time only) of $1.33 per hour in the upcoming year would come at a cost of $4,234,571 which becomes an annual recurring cost. At the end of six years the estimated annual cost would rise to $13,658,879. For this to happen we must secure significant additional funding from the state or be allowed to raise the necessary monies. I cannot promise success in this endeavor but do promise to make it a personal priority.

c. What ideas do you have to help improve wages and benefits for workers throughout our community?

The School Board has a strong, collaborative working relationship with the ACEA representing all members of the bargaining unit. Strong relationships with unions are essential for all governmental bodies. I am still a proud union member and would prefer to do business with a union shop. The School Board provides full health benefits for all employees half-time and above.  We are the second largest employer in the county which enables us to have a positive effect on the wages and benefits of a large number of people. Increases in wages and benefits are a plank of our Strategic Plan.

2) Do you support providing paid administrative leave for part-time, temporary, seasonal, and contracted school board workers in the event of emergency work closures (e.g., hours missed due to Hurricanes)?

I would expect this to be addressed in the contract and that a fair and equitable agreement would be reached to address this issue. I support the intent but would have to know the cost.

3) Do you support a “Renters Bill of Rights’” which would:

  • inform renters of their rights under existing laws –Yes. That information is available online. Hard copies could be made available to those without internet access.
  • offer an alternative to costly courts to settle disputes over security deposits and damages – I have no position on this without seeing more details and how this would be adjudicated and inforced.
  • protect renters from high utility bills by enacting policies that require landlords to make basic investments in energy efficiency I would support transparency in the history of the property’s bills and provide additional incentives for landlords to increase energy efficiency.

4) Do you support a local hiring preference that includes the use of certified apprenticeship programs for taxpayer funded projects?  Yes.

Marihelen Wheeler – Alachua County Commission District 2 Candidate Questionnaire

1) Do you support paying a living wage to all County workers including part-time, temporary, seasonal, and contracted workers? (The ACLC defines a living wage as 125% of the Federal Poverty Level – currently $14.78 an hour).

a. How will you ensure contracted workers are paid the set wage?

I will work with the Commission to convince employers of the need to circulate monies in our community by increasing pay to the targeted living wage of $15 an hour. I will encourage those most active in this movement to continue to speak to the issue before the Commission and invite them to bring most affected workers with them to challenge any resistance to the goal. I will continue to support wage   theft recovery and help to set system in place for workers to report problems.

b. What is your plan to get us there?

I will continue the conversation forward so  to keep the focus and momentum towards the $15 goal. Moving people out of poverty also helps to insure that their children will go to school well fed, less stressed and prepared to learn. We can break the cycle of ignorance,neglect and despair by improving the living conditions of children and the elderly by supporting the work force. I intend to use my experience as a public school teacher of 32 years in North Florida to make this point firmly and consistently.

c. What ideas do you have to help improve wages and benefits for workers throughout our community?

As a teacher, I have the experience of working with families from a wide range of socioeconomic and cultural communities. Many of those were not academics. One of my goals is to work with labor and the School Board to push for vocational training  options and renew respect for the trades. Our community goal must be to help provide the right jobs for prepared workers, and pay well enough so no working family lives in poverty.

2) Do you support providing paid administrative leave for part-time, temporary, seasonal, and contracted City workers in the event of emergency work closures (e.g., hours missed due to Hurricanes)?

YES

3) Do you support a “Renters Bill of Rights’” which would:

  • inform renters of their rights under existing laws
  • offer an alternative to costly courts to settle disputes over security deposits and damages
  • protect renters from high utility bills by enacting policies that require landlords to make basic investments in energy efficiency

YES

4) Do you support a local hiring preference that includes the use of certified apprenticeship programs for taxpayer funded projects?  

YES

Judith McNeil – Alachua County School Board District 3 Questionnaire

1) Do you support paying a living wage to all School Board workers including part-time, temporary, seasonal, and contracted workers? (The ACLC defines a living wage as 125% of the Federal Poverty Level – currently $14.78 an hour).

a. How will you ensure contracted workers are paid the set wage?

I cannot insure it but I will collaborate with board members and the union to reach that goal.

b. What is your plan to get us there?

Collaborating with board members and the union representative that the pay scale is competitive.

c. What ideas do you have to help improve wages and benefits for workers throughout our community?

Represent the community well on the board by being an advocate for students in obtaining an equal and equitable education. The goal is to have educated citizens that will contribute to the local workforce.

2) Do you support providing paid administrative leave for part-time, temporary, seasonal, and contracted City workers in the event of emergency work closures (e.g., hours missed due to Hurricanes)?

No. I do not believe different agencies will have the funds to cover the costs incurred due to uncontrollable events: hurricanes, flooding, fires, high winds, airborne biohazards and power outages.  The event will cause funding constraints and state funding should be given to workers who provide the services. The severity will determine state voucher assistance to docked employees.

3) Do you support a “Renters Bill of Rights’” which would:

  • inform renters of their rights under existing laws
  • offer an alternative to costly courts to settle disputes over security deposits and damages
  • protect renters from high utility bills by enacting policies that require landlords to make basic investments in energy efficiency

Yes, I support a renter’s bill of rights since unforeseen events can cause a renter to lack funds.

4) Do you support a local hiring preference that includes the use of certified apprenticeship programs for taxpayer funded projects?

Yes, local citizens should be given preference to perform local jobs unless there are time constraints and the apprenticeship will hinder the project completion in a timely manner.

Ken Cornell – Alachua County Commission District 4 Candidate Questionnaire

1) Do you support paying a living wage to all County workers including part-time,
temporary, seasonal, and contracted workers? (The ACLC defines a living wage as 125% of the Federal Poverty Level – currently $14.78 an hour).

Yes

a. How will you ensure contracted workers are paid the set wage?

In 2015 the County Commission implemented an ordinance to establish a local government minimum wage starting at $12/hour for both county employees and contractors who choose to do business with the County.

b. What is your plan to get us there?

The current plan is to increase the local government minimum wage $.50/hour per year. We are currently $13/hr and plan to raise this to $13.50 for FY18-19.

c. What ideas do you have to help improve wages and benefits for workers
throughout our community?

Working with the Labor Coalition to lobby our largest employers (UF, Santa Fe, etc) to follow the County’s lead or even exceed what the county has done.

2) Do you support providing paid administrative leave for part-time, temporary, seasonal, and contracted county workers in the event of emergency work closures (e.g., hours missed due to Hurricanes)?

Yes

3) Do you support a “Renters Bill of Rights’” which would:

  • inform renters of their rights under existing laws
  • offer an alternative to costly courts to settle disputes over security deposits and
    damages
  • protect renters from high utility bills by enacting policies that require landlords to make
  • basic investments in energy efficiency.

Yes

4) Do you support a local hiring preference that includes the use of certified apprenticeship programs for taxpayer funded projects?

Yes

April Griffin – Alachua County School Board District 1 – Questionnaire

1) Do you support paying a living wage to all School Board workers including part-time,
temporary, seasonal, and contracted workers? (The ACLC defines a living wage as 125% of the Federal Poverty Level – currently $14.78 an hour).

Yes

a. How will you ensure contracted workers are paid the set wage?

We are currently working on our budget for the next year. We have set this as a priority in our strategic plan.

b. What is your plan to get us there?

We set this as a priority in our strategic plan and have been working towards the goal of a living wage for all of our employees. As of now, including benefits, we are close to $15.00/hour. We provide health insurance to all of our hourly staff if they work at least half time. This benefit, added to our hourly wage is close to $15.00/hour. We are looking at ways to increase the base pay to $15.00 over the next few years.

c. What ideas do you have to help improve wages and benefits for workers throughout our community?

One of the best ways for folks to increase their income is by professional and skills development. We should increase our partnerships with Santa Fe College and other adult education groups.

2) Do you support providing paid administrative leave for part-time, temporary, seasonal, and contracted City workers in the event of emergency work closures (e.g., hours missed due to Hurricanes)?

The School Board did pay our employees that worked over-time hours during the
hurricanes. The last I checked, we are still waiting for our reimbursement from the state forwages, food supplies and cleaning. If their work place was not open, we offered an alternate work place for the days so that their pay would not be affected. We build in “storm days” into our calendar. For those that could not get in to their work site for whatever reason, it was considered an unpaid day and was made up when we put our set aside storm days back into our calendar.

3) Do you support a “Renters Bill of Rights’” which would:
 

  • inform renters of their rights under existing laws
  • offer an alternative to costly courts to settle disputes over security deposits and
    damages
  • protect renters from high utility bills by enacting policies that require landlords to make
  • basic investments in energy efficiency.

I do support a “Renters Bill of Rights”.

4) Do you support a local hiring preference that includes the use of certified apprenticeship programs for taxpayer funded projects?

Yes