EDITORS NOTE: All candidates running were asked to fill out questionnaire and given the same access to the questionnaire. The content of each questionnaire response has been left in its original format and has not been edited in any way by the Labor Coalition. The Labor Coalition does not endorse any candidates and the inclusion of these questionnaire responses to our website should not be taken as an endorsement of any kind.
What are the biggest issues facing working people in the City of Gainesville?
Affordable and safe housing, cost and ease of transportation, and good jobs that pay a living wage.
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 $15.08 an hour)
The Gainesville Living Wage Ordinance for contractors has so many loopholes that it applies to almost no contracts the City currently has. To address this issue, Mayor Brady started to look into updating the Ordinance in December 2015, but no action has been taken until December 2018 when a six-month study was started. What will you do to ensure the timely and effective changes needed to the Gainesville’s Living Wage Ordinance?
Yes I fully support paying all city employees a living wage of at least $15 an hour, and I have voted in favor of budgets that have moved employees toward that every year I’ve been on the commission. When I first came onto the city commission, there was significant push back from the more conservative commissioners to not include seasonal and temporary employees in living wage increases. I, along with mayor Poe, were successful in pushing back and were able to include seasonal and temporary employees in the increased living wage. I do support removing all loopholes in the living wage ordinance as it concerns contractors. Contractors should be included in the living wage increases, and I will push for them to be included in this years budget.
What other ideas do you have to help improve wages and benefits for workers throughout our community?
While there may be no direct way for the city to force wage increases for the community, the city can work to make housing more affordable by passing the “Renters Rights” ordinance. I also support the city continuing to increase minimum wages for city workers and contractors which would help pressure other businesses in the community to raise their wages.
What do you envision as the role of large local employers in Gainesville in helping to improve wages, benefit workers, and reduce inequalities? How have/would you encourage these large local employers to address these issues?
An increased minimum wage law for the city would make the most significant impact; unfortunately the state of Florida has preempted the city from taking action on this issue. I have strongly supported a real living wage for city workers and while on the commission the city has increase wages for the lowest paid city workers by $4.70 per hour. I support the city moving towards a $15 minimum living wage. With wages increasing at the city and county, this should put pressure on larger employees in the city.
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 a natural disaster)?
When a hurricane comes, there are areas of our government that shutdown, but there is also a huge need for other work in the city government. I think it’s important that we cross train and have opportunities for every city worker to work and get paid when a hurricane comes.
When unplanned events happen like a bomb threat, those employees should be paid.
If you are an employer: Do you pay all your workers a living wage? If you do not: How are you making an effort to do so?
I’m not an employer.
Do you support a “Renters Bill of Rights’” which would:
- 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 and water efficiency.
- Require universal licensing and safety/health inspections of all rental property.
- Offer protections against discrimination based on source of income and citizenship status.
- Ensure greater disclosure of renters’ rights and responsibilities.
I fully support the “Renters Bill of Rights”! I’m proud to have collaborated with the ACLC to create the proposed “Renters Bill of Rights”, and to have helped push the proposal through the city commission. My goal is for the ordinance to be passed by mid year.
What are some policies the the City of Gainesville can enact to improve access to quality, safe affordable housing in our community?
The biggest thing that the city can do is to pass the proposed Renters Rights ordinance. This ordinance would ensure that everyone who rents in the city has a safe and healthy place to live, and that their rental unit is energy efficient to help lower utility costs. The city should also look at increased density along major corridors to help reduce the housing shortage, and to make transportation an easier and more affordable option for renters. I also support inclusionary zoning policies and community land trusts that would help increase the amount of affordable housing in our community.
Do you support a local hiring preference that includes the use of certified apprenticeship programs for taxpayer funded projects?
Yes, I do! I believe the city should add this to the requirements for city construction projects.