The City of Gainesville election is underway. Aside from the presidential primary there are three city seats up for grabs. You have to live in District 2 and District 3 to vote in those races but anyone within the city limits can vote for At-large 2.
Vote By Mail Ballots are already out so be sure to return them. Early voting is from Friday, March 6th until Saturday, March 14 from 9 AM to 6 PM at any of these five locations:
- Alachua County Supervisor of Elections Office (515 N. Main St., Suite 100, Gainesville)
- Tower Road Branch Library (3020 SW 75th St., Gainesville)
- Millhopper Branch Library (3145 NW 43rd St., Gainesville)
- Legacy Park Multipurpose Center (15400 Peggy Road, Alachua)
- Orange Heights Baptist Church (16700 NE SR 26, Hawthorne)
- J. Wayne Reitz Union (655 Reitz Union Drive, University of Florida Campus, Gainesville)
You can vote on election day on Tuesday, March 17th from 7 AM – 7 PM and can find your precinct here.
Harvey Ward – ACLC Questionnaire – Website – Campaign finances
Vote Harvey Ward for District 2 Commission.
Incumbent Commissioner Ward is amazing. By far one of the best elected officials in North Central Florida. He has great politics and is pro-worker, pro-environment, good on queer issues, and is currently serving on Commissioner Gail Johnson’s Equity Committee. He’s not only a good, reliable vote, he is the champion of many issues carrying the water for progressive causes. Right now he’s working with a broad coalition of people to get a hard-to-hire and certified apprenticeship ordinance passed. Once passed this ordinance would require those working on city funded projects to hire a certain number of people deemed hard to hire (ex-felons, long term unemployed, those on SNAP, etc.) and from apprenticeship programs. This would not only help employ those who are hard to hire but would also help out our young people as they learn a trade. Part of apprenticeship program requirements are hours on the job and it’s very difficult for people to get these hours locally. I know this is all really in the weeds of policy so message me if you want more information. I only mention all of this because Ward approached unions in the area and asked for us to help craft this ordinance. This is just one example of the many, many times Ward has been active in seeking progressive legislation.
David Walle – No ACLC Questionnaire – Website – Campaign finances
In February, David Walle assaulted a candidate by trying to kiss her repeatedly and she had to physically fight him off. This was after stalking her and harassing her for denying him a date. And this is not the first time this has happened. The victim wishes to remain anonymous, which is her right (shame on the media if they publish her name) but I believe her and so should you. He needs to be held accountable for his actions and part of that is denying him a public platform and making people aware of his actions.
David Arreola – ACLC Questionnaire – Website – Campaign finances
Vote David Arreola for District 3 City Commission.
Incumbent Commissioner David Arreola has been a good commissioner. He’s sometimes hit or miss on important issues during the debates but he’s a steady progressive vote in the end. He did a great job chairing the Rental Housing Subcommittee whose recommendation, if enacted, will be the most progressive renters rights ordinance in the state. (more information here). His vote that I’m most proud of was his bold move to end the use of inmate labor in Gainesville.
Jennifer Reid – No ACLC Questionnaire – No website – Campaign finances.
Reid is his only opponent and she seems nice. I like her but she’s also a Republican running for local office in Gainesville. Whatever reason she decided to run she has some pretty solid working class politics. She has been very public about her support for Congressman Yoho, calling him on the greatest Americans to ever live, which gives me a lot of pause. .
At Large 2
There’s 4 people running for this seat but only two are in the series contenders. .
Reina Saco – ACLC Questionnaire – Website – Campaign finances
Vote for Reina Saco. Reina Saco is great. She’s a progressive lawyer whose main work has focused on un/semi documented immigrants and domestic violence survivors. She wrote the Renters Bill of Rights (see above) and is solid on pretty much every progressive issue. She lead the charge to get GPD to change policies after they royally screwed up a case with an undocumented domestic volence survior. One of the things I’m most excited about is that she’s a progressive lawyer who can dislodge some of these log jams at the City Attorney’s Office. Many progressive ordinances are held up for years due to high ranking staff.
Scherwin Henry – ACLC Questionnaire – Website – Campaign Contributions
Scherwin Henry was the D1 commissioner for 6 years before running for mayor and losing badly. His politics are great and I especially like his stances on decentralization poverty by requiring affordable housing in other places besides East Gainesville. If Henry is elected I think he’ll be a great commission but I don’t think he can push things through the bureaucratic holdups in the city right now. It also gives me pause that so many realtors, land investors, and backwards poster child State Senator Keith Perry gave him money.
And there’s Gabe Kaimowitz (ACLC Questionnaire. No website. Campaign finances.) who’s a racist, sexist, queerphobe running for reasons that escapes me. His vitriol for Reina Saco in seemingly endless emails need to be called out for what they are: hateful rhetoric from a delusional man.