Gail Johnson – City Commission at Large Candidate Questionnaire

1. What are the biggest issues facing working people in the City of Gainesville?

Working people in Gainesville face a multitude of issues. Among these is access to affordable housing, which is an issue I am passionate about. Another big issue is wages. Gainesville pays lower wages than other cities for the same jobs. I think government can, and should, be a leader on improving wages in our area. Additionally, the transportation system in Gainesville must be improved on in order to better aid working families. The commute to Butler Plaza for those living on East Side should not be an hour and a half ordeal. Long commutes like these keep people further away from jobs and spending less time with family. As a working mother, I believe affordable child care services need to be expanded upon in the city for children of working parents.

2. Do you support paying a living wage for all City 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 support legislation to favor contracting companies that pay their workers a living wage. In my personal life I choose products that uphold the values I hold, our city government should be no different. If you’re going to do business with the city of Gainesville you need to respect our values and pay your employees a living wage.

     b. What is your plan to get us there?

One of my main platforms is bringing diverse voices to the table and ensuring everyone is heard. The Labor Coalition has been a great leader on this issue, and I look forward to bringing in their expertise to this issue. I will support a change to the city’s purchasing policy to favor contractors who pay their employees a living wage.

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

The most important is raising our city workers wages to what the average family needs. As I mentioned, I am also in favor of selecting contractors who pay a living wage to push the private sector to do that as well. I am also a big supporter of providing more robust after school care for our schools. The city, county, and school board can immediately make life more affordable and allow working parents more quality of life by growing and enhancing our after school programs.

4. Do you support paid admin leave for part-time, temp, seasonal, contracted city workers in the event of emergency closure? (e.g., hours missed due to Hurricane Irma)?


5. Do you pay all your workers a living wage? How are you making an effort to do so?

I pay my an average of 14.00 per hour,  which is well above the industry standard. In addition I give a bonus during the holiday season.

6. Do you support Renters Bill of Rights?

  • 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


7. Do you support a local hiring preference includes use of certified apprenticeship programs for taxpayer funded projects?