Message from Mary Alford: Democratic candidate for Alachua County Commission District One

I’m still amazed, humbled, and excited for the journey ahead and working hard for a victory on November 3.  

I’m grateful for the amazing help during this campaign. It was truly a grassroots effort, supported by many modest donations. There are simply too many people to thank but know that I am enormously grateful for every single person that supported me in any way, and I am honored and humbled to have your trust and confidence.  I’d especially like to thank Mike Byerly, who I greatly admire, for showing me so much respect during this race and for running a positive and informative campaign. Mike has been a vociferous defender of Alachua County and I know I’ll have big shoes to fill.

Now, we’re on to November! Many say, and I agree, that this is the most important election in our lifetime.  Locally I hope to make history!  I’m working to be the first openly LGBT+ person to serve on the Alachua County Commission. I am also a professional environmental engineer, the owner of a mission-based architecture and engineering firm specializing in sustainability, a mom and grandmother, and I am active on many boards and non-profits, everything from Florida Defenders of the Environment to the County Code Enforcement Board.  

My platform is based on sustainability. First, of course, is the environment. But we need to look at the economic and equity impacts of our environmental decisions.  One example is the decision to expand the construction landfill in SE Gainesville. It met the environmental requirements, and allowing the expansion saved the contractors and developers money. But from an equity point of view, was the effect property values of nearby owners considered?  Property value changes when the view from your back yard is a looming landfill. 

Second, I am focusing on sustainable infrastructure.  We simply need to maintain what we have invested taxpayer dollars in.  The greenest roads, the greenest buildings are the ones we already have. This is not the time to build a new county government complex.  Roads are rapidly deteriorating and the cost and carbon footprint of replacing a road is significant. 

Third, we need to plan for a climate disruption, political upheaval, population growth – and sustainably protect this place we all call home. 

But just like in the primary, I can’t do it alone – I need your help! Please donate today.  Mail in ballots will be out in just a few weeks.  We don’t have long to catch up to my well-funded Republican opponent – her brother is Dane Eagle, the Leader of the State House – so we know more money will be funneled her way.  Please phone bank. Every local voter we mobilize helps us nationally.  Also – letters to the editor, talking to your neighbors, friends and family. I am running a carbon neutral campaign and so my goal is to avoid mailers, so your word of mouth really helps!

Change starts right here in our own backyards and we can make that change.  Thank you again.

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