I grew up in Tallahassee and lived here until I was 23 years old. In 2007, I enlisted in the U.S. Army and in 2010 I deployed to Afghanistan. After leaving the Army, I moved back to Tallahassee to attend college using the Post 9/11 GI Bill.
What do you want visitors and locals to know about Tallahassee that they may not already know?
Tallahassee has a lot to offer for a city its size. In addition to our many excellent parks and nature trails, there are also a myriad number of indoor activities – movie theatres, restaurants, museums, and cultural landmarks – for residents and tourists to discover. These places of interest are supplemented by attractions to be found on our university campuses. Tallahassee is a city where there are many hidden gems to be found if you’re willing to spend a little time exploring.
How has Tallahassee grown over the years?
Over the years, Tallahassee has grown substantially, as many new areas have been developed and expanded. A few of these expansions include: bringing the Challenger Learning Center/IMAX theatre to downtown Tallahassee, the acquisition of environmentally sensitive land that led to the expansion of the city’s parks and hiking trails, and several road improvements, for example the creation of Blair Stone Road and the widening of Capital Circle. The Tallahassee-Leon County Planning Department’s intent is “to have Tallahassee and Leon County grow in a responsible manner, with infrastructure provided economically and efficiently, and surrounding forest and agricultural lands protected from unwarranted and premature conversion to urban land use”. There has been and continues to be exceptional community involvement in urban planning, with many citizens voicing their ideas and concerns regarding proposed community expansion projects.
What made you want to run for mayor?
I became more interested in politics during the 2016 Presidential general election. Seeing the divisive nature of political advertisements from both sides, I decided that I would put forward my name for consideration. I think it’s important for voters to know that they have options, that there are people in the community who are willing to talk with citizens about the issues that concern them and work together with them to find solutions. It’s important to me that voters know that I care first and foremost about their well-being and am committed to doing whatever I can help them.
If elected what are your goals for the city?
My goals for the city primarily involve working to ensure that every resident of the city knows that they are a valued member of our community and that their safety and well-being are foremost in my mind. A few policy goals that are important to me as mayor include: increasing the minimum wage to a living wage, ensuring that low-wage workers have access to resources to enable them to make the transition to higher-paying jobs (whether by switching industries or by advancing to management positions within their current organizations), and putting in place “common sense” gun reforms to address the elevated levels of violent crime in Tallahassee and the surrounding area (universal background checks, mandatory waiting periods, more extensive licensing requirements – including annual or semi-annual qualification requirements).
What social media do you use?
I’m an occasional Twitter user (my handle is @erik_m_david). I log into Facebook less frequently, usually just to catch up on what my friends are doing and to see if there are any upcoming events that seem interesting.
Describe Tallahassee in 5 words or less
“Home, History, Community, and Culture”