District Ten is comprised of fourteen (14) neighborhoods that the City of Jacksonville has designated as "Barely Livable" based on metrics that include Cost of Living, Education, Housing, Amenities, Crime, and Employment. Additionally, the district is 71.82% Black, 24.83% Caucasian, and 3.35% Other.
Our focus will be directed toward those areas that adversely affect the quality of life in the district. Employment, Education, Housing, and Crime. Increasing Law Enforcement Officers, Harsher Jail Sentences, Adding Body Cameras, Cessation of ticketing pedestrian infractions will not reduce crime nor will it increase the quality of life in our respective communities.
For far too long, we have addressed symptoms rather than problems. We have sought simple solutions to complex problems, and in the process, wasted unrecoverable human talent and potential. To move the needle from "Barely Livable" to "Livable" we must engage in plausible additions by subtraction.
What must we subtract from the barely liveable equation?
(1) We must significantly reduce crime and recidivism;
(2) We must significantly reduce homelessness;
(3) We must significantly reduce educational failures;
(4) and most of all, we must reduce, significantly, the unemployment rate in District Ten.
There is no magic bullet or panacea to the long-standing problems that plague our neighborhoods, however, what we have in abundance is the will, desire, and the fortitude to "Change the way we do things."
"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."
LIST OF ISSUES
Educational Equity and paramount in the preparation for 21st-century employment and entrepreneurial opportunities. We will assemble town hall meetings with district parents to emphasize the value of education as being foundational to crime reduction and quality of life levels.
The majority of District 10's employed are underemployed or working part-time in service industry jobs. We will marshal the resources within our district to address employment inequities.
Improving Northwest Jacksonville's economy is one of the top focal points of my campaign. The City of Jacksonville, using the Northwest Jacksonville Development Trust Fund, will be called upon to incubate and support economic development,
We view jobs as a by-product of economic development. Rather than waiting, appealing, or praying for a corporate savior to rescue us from our economic doldrums, we will tap into our own resources by circulating District Ten dollars as much as possible by encouraging entrepreneurship.
Beyond, and inclusive of District Ten, it is essential that the City Council protect all Duval County citizens by giving precedence to the water we drink, and the air we breathe. Neighborhood environmental concerns include:
Leaking underground oil tanks
Hazardous waste sites
Signs of illegal drug manufacturing (meth labs)
Contamination from industrial or agricultural sites
Contamination from toxic spills
U.S. EPA’s top cleanup priority properties
Flood zone map (1-mile radius of property)
One of the most pressing issues in Northwest Jacksonville is affordable housing. It appears that housing inspections in our district leave a lot to be desired as we are plagued, for years, with dilapidated and substandard housing.
We need rigorous enforcement of existing housing codes to incent investors and landlords to bring (and keep) their properties in compliance.
In Duval County, the index of health disparities is higher than any other county in the state. In some cases, higher than the national average. Our candidacy will address health disparities.
Of particular note is Infant Mortality. The Duval County rate of 8.1 per 1,000 births is higher than the state rate of 6.2 per 1,000.
Unfortunately, the highest incidents of Infant Mortality in Duval County occur in Zip Codes 32210 and 32218. According to Dr. Gornto, "It’s important for the whole community to be aware of infant and fetal mortality; just because it’s happening in one part of Jacksonville more than others, for example, doesn’t mean it isn’t affecting the whole city.
“If we have high infant mortality rates and you’re trying to recruit a large company to come to Jacksonville, it impacts everyone,” Gornto said. “It tells you about our education system...It tells you about all of our systems, and our health care system. It’s a sentinel indicator of the health of our community.”