by Joe Courter
2018 will be a pivotal year in this country. I mean it. The gerrymandering done in 2010 has paved the way for the Republican dominance in our national and state-level governance. To try and create more fair districts, Democrats must regain control in state legislatures, and that challenge must begin now, in the 2018 fall elections. We will have important primaries coming up in August, and then of course on Nov. 6. These pages will hopefully help and inspire you to be an active participant in our fragile and severely challenged democracy.
BUT we have upcoming elections in March for two position on the Gainesville City Commission. In the Eastside District 1, the incumbent Charles Goston is being challenge by two women, Tyra “Loudd” Edwards and Gigi Simmons. Both would bring a fresh perspective as women (with Helen Warren as the only woman on the seven-member Board currently) as well as a dedication to the African American community, and it should be an interesting campaign to watch. I strongly lean to Gigi based on her ties to the community and experience with the City of Gainesville as part of Parks and Recreation. In the At-Large race, incumbent Harvey Budd has a very strong challenger in Gail Johnson, whom I support and would hope others would as well.
From her website: “As a working single mother and entrepreneur, I understand the many challenges that working families face – because this is my story. For many of us, life is perfect in Gainesville: a beautiful city surrounding a preeminent university. But we are still divided and many in Gainesville struggle. As a city, we need to do more to address the economic inequalities and work to create a Gainesville where everyone can enjoy the wonderful life and amenities we have here.”
That is how it stands as of now; the books don’t close until Feb. 18, so others could jump in, but that is not likely. Read about them, go to forums, look at their websites. Because of traditional low voter turnout, your vote and the work you do getting the vote out means a lot.
Early voting is March 10-17, and then Tuesday, March 20, is the Spring Election Day.