From the blog: My Vision for Lakeland's Future
As I was out walking neighborhoods on Saturday, meeting with voters and sharing my ideas for Lakeland, I met a fellow dad who was out in his front yard with his kids. I introduced myself, along with my son Samuel, and told him I was running for city commissioner. He asked why I was running and about my plans for Lakeland.
I told him I’m running as a voice for Lakeland’s future — to make Lakeland the best place to live, work and raise our families. I look out at the future of our city over the next 20-30 years, and I see a community with tremendous potential that is on the cusp of great things. I told him that my vision for Lakeland includes a strong local economy, smart and sustainable government, and opportunities for our future generations.
I want Lakeland to be a place where businesses of all sizes can grow and thrive, a city that becomes a hub in Florida for creative entrepreneurs — and with the support of groups like BRIDGE Local and Catapult — a launch pad for new business ventures. For downtown Lakeland, I want to see a bustling, vibrant place that attracts new businesses, draws a steady stream of visitors, and becomes a favorite spot for Lakelanders and their families to enjoy. It’s also exciting to think about what the future could look like for other growing parts of our city, including Dixieland, Lakeland Linder Airport and Florida Poly.
Keeping our Lakeland economy growing is critical for the future of our community. I want to see more high-paying jobs coming to our area — resulting in more opportunities for our next generations to make Lakeland their home. As I shared with the father I met Saturday, we want our kids to stay here, raise their families here, and find a job market here that is as strong as any other city in Florida.
I often hear people talk about the success of Greenville, South Carolina, especially its downtown, as an example of what Lakeland could one day become. Many Lakeland leaders have visited Greenville to experience what they have created. I want people to talk about Lakeland — to come into our city and ask what it would take to create something like this in their community.
Want to chat more about Lakeland’s future? I would love to meet you for coffee — my office is next to Mitchell’s in downtown Lakeland. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.