Get To Know The Candidate : T.J. Lewis

What brings you to Tallahassee? My mother brought my siblings and I to Tallahassee in 1987. I was raised here and I chose to stay here for school because I don’t think there’s a better city in the world. I love living in Tallahassee!

What do you want visitors and locals to know about Tallahassee that they may not already know?
People often ask me, “Why are some of the streets in Tallahassee so tight” compared to other cities in Florida. And I like to tell them because our city has existed for almost 200 years unlike most cities in Florida which were created by developers in the 20th century. Tallahassee was where America’s first Christmas was celebrated. More plantations exist between Tallahassee and Thomasville than anywhere else in the world. The Wakulla Springs, just south of Tallahassee were once said to be the world’s Deepest Freshwater Springs. Should I go on… lol!

How has Tallahassee evolved over the years? 
I came here in 1987, and for me Tallahassee has always been a neapolitan city. We’ve always had the amenities of a large city with the charms of a small city. What has changed most in recent years is the way local residents relate to and engage with the community. I get the sense that people are starting to take pride in our Hometown which is a tremendous help to bring the city to the next level. What you might notice most about our city physically since the year 2000 are major improvements to our downtown, Kleman Plaza is now complete with an IMAX theater, and two new condo towers (Plaza Tower and Gameday Center), The Tennyson and Gateway Building now tower over Monroe Street, every major downtown hotel has been remodeled (Doubletree, Four Points by Sheraton, Hotel Duval) even the once unsightly City Centre building has been spruced up. And on top of it all Cascades Park has become our city’s crown jewel.

What made you want to run for office?
I’ve often felt like the County doesn’t see City residents as constituents. We are often disproportionately taxed for services that are shared with unincorporated residents having to pay a fee on both a City and County side. I’m also concerned about unchecked development threatening to encroach into the unspoiled pristine countryside, I want to make sure we grow our community the right way, hence the Smart Growth tag on my campaign. Learning about the County Commission vacancy in my district presented an opportunity for a citizen from within the City Limits to step up to the County Commission to inform that City residents are County Residents and we deserve to have our interest represented by this board. 

What are your goals if elected?
To create Quality high-paying jobs. To make the neighborhoods in my district Safer for families and more inviting to first-time homebuyers. I believe with improved safety and more families living in the District, our Public Schools in this area will also see marked improvements. A top priority of mine on an economic development level will be working with the City to do everything we can to get lower airfares at our airport, this is very important for creating jobs, for local residents to be able to travel and to facilitate our efforts to spur tourism. 

What social media do you use?
 Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN and Instagram.

Describe Tallahassee in 5 words or less
Authentic. Competitive. Naturally Beautiful Community.

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