What brings you to Tallahassee? I moved to Tallahassee in 1998 to attend Florida State University. Like most, I discovered our city’s charm by living and exploring all of the things that make it special, like our nature trails, lakes and our scenic drives along our canopy roads. Plus, there are so many opportunities in this town and I’ve found it to be a very safe place to raise a family, so I decided to make Tallahassee my home.
What do you want visitors and locals to know about Tallahassee that they may not already know? Besides our two major universities and excellent community college, Tallahassee is very multi-cultural, with clean air, theaters, museums, art festivals, restaurants, and farmers markets. We also have one of the best city park systems in the country so that residents have easy access to enjoying the capital city of the Sunshine State.
How has Tallahassee evolved over the years? When I first moved to Tallahassee, Capital Circle was a two-lane highway. Our infrastructure has grown substantially and now it’s easier to get around the city. We now have a destination district in the heart of Tallahassee, known as Gaines Street. This is a pedestrian friendly area bringing our two universities together and serving as a hub for entertainment, arts and culture. Gaines Street flows right into Cascades Park, our new social center of the community where wellness, history and education meets in another amazing park complete with a state-of-the-art amphitheater. Midtown continues to be a popular local gathering place with walkable restaurants, shopping and nightlife. But signs of growing community is all around us from the Southside revival plan, the new addition of College Town and the refurbished Tallahassee Mall, now known as The Centre of Tallahassee.
What made you want to run for office? I have dedicated my career, for the last 17 years, advocating and serving the 67 independently elected Clerks of the Circuit Court and Comptrollers for the State of Florida. I have a passion and commitment to this office and its role in the judicial process. No office provided for in our state’s Constitution is more important and has its functions less understood by the general public. I am running because I want to ensure that all citizens of Leon County, regardless of their economic status or background, will have equal access to our justice system.
What are your goals if elected? One thing that I appreciate is that Clerk’s office doesn’t operate in a vacuum. My goal is to focus on excellent customer service. I will look at how we can expand upon our current technology to improve how we interact and serve both our local businesses and local community. Also, I will engage our local judicial partners on alternative ways that the public can resolve outstanding traffic and non-violent infractions. Putting folks in jail because they cannot afford to pay exorbitant court fines should not be our only option. In addition, I will serve as the steward of county funds and records, while faithfully discharge my sworn constitutional duties and uphold the rule of law as your Clerk of Court.
What social media do you use? You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. #gwenforclerk #gwen4thewin
Describe Tallahassee in 5 words or less: Friendly, hospitable, and unique history.