R – We’re live in Sarasota underground studio with our second of these candidate interview series I’m sitting here with Jennifer Ahearn Koch, alright I’ve been practicing trying to make sure I nail that throughout the interview so I’ll do just a brief intro we’re bringing in and will jump right into the cool for those of you watching on Facebook or going to go for the first 15 minutes live on Facebook the rest of this interview will be available on our YouTube channel and on our website next week because wouldn’t mind sharing this video to help us get some more views we need people understand what’s going on here and why we’re doing this interview so or guest today has The Bachelors of arts and international fares from the American University in Paris France and a master’s in the same field from Columbia University. She is an active member the Sarasota Community serving as the president of the Tahiti Park neighborhood association for the last 8 years. Served as a neighborhood representative to the Coalition of City neighborhood associations the CCNA hey and also served on the city of Sarasota planning board on $2,000 2015. She’s quite past about the community I met with her about a month ago to go to chat about some of this stuff so with no further ado welcome to the Sarasota Underground.
C – Thank you.
R – How are you?
C – I’m doing well how are you?
R – Time to come in and do this we had was Susan Chapman yesterday and I love this idea of bringing you guys and it just kind of getting a deeper dive so feel free to take this conversation where you will we’ll be again I’ll have some specific questions the first one I want to start out as why do this why run for City commission what makes you want to take this step from some of the community involvement to then jumping into a bigger role?
C – Really good question I think that one of the things that motivates me most to do this is well number 1 is the guy that sitting right over there it’s my children it’s important for me to be a very good example to my kids to show them that they need to be involved in the community and take responsibility for how their community grows and develops and the second reason is that my whole since we moved here 20 years ago I sort of had been building this this involvement in the community it started out with a forming my neighborhood association with my neighbor Paula and then I was vice president and then became president I would say 6 or 7 years into it and we got very involved in the city and how the City Works in organizing our neighborhood working with other neighborhoods and thinking about how our neighborhood fits into the community and how Sarasota itself is developing and all of that involvement in the community and in our neighborhood sort of building on this micro knowledge of how a small-town functions and how is City functions and you mention my education all of my education was much more macro it was International political economy in the European Union was one of my focuses this is really you know a community in a town this is Sarasota and that comes sort of back to the roots I came to Sarasota when I was little my parents got a place here in the seventies so is that is really in my heart I went to High School here I would always come back you know for college when I went away to college like I was talking to you earlier about and when I was in graduate school I would come back and see my mom and so on and so forth I got married here to Sarasota, it’s in me.
R – How long have you been in town?
C – I moved with my husband and my older son 20 years ago but I went to High School here, my parents got a place here in the 70’s actually 1970 and I went to High School here.
R – What do you feel in your specific capacity makes you qualified to be a City Commissioner like what give you the confidence to say I’m going to go do this job and go do it well and I think I’m the right person for this job because – what is that?
C – I think it’s just because of sort of this whole involvement that has been happening step-by-step throughout my return to Sarasota 20 years ago so was the neighborhood involvement and then from there it was being on CCNA and CCNA means first you start with your neighborhood and then you start with your neighborhood in your area and then you start with your neighborhood in the community of CCNA which is the Coalition of City neighborhood associations so how do you fit in and Ally with the other neighborhoods in the rest of the city and then from there it was the planning board and so I was on the planning board for six years as you know it was the chair I was the vice chair and from there you see development I knew see the city grow from a different angle not just this neighborhood side and this resident citizen side but you actually see it from the city stuff so I can interact with City staff you learn about the rules we have standards that guide you that people have to present confidence substantial evidence you don’t necessarily know that when you’re a citizen and you say this developments being proposed near my neighborhood or is it compatible or not compatible or what’s happening in the community you think it’s so you think of it more I would say one level or one dimension but when you’re part of the neighborhood association the neighborhood and then the planning board the plane were really turns things around for you and I learned a lot.
R – How do you make the distinction – because I think that’s really good experience and so the question that came to my mind that I just wrote down here is this idea of how do you make the transition from going to being involved in the neighborhood and end making sure hate is where I live is my lifestyle these are my neighbors so I want to make sure everything in this area is great, to now representing the city how do you take that to that next step how do you branch that out into the into the larger community of you will?
C – Well I think that comes naturally when you get involved in something like CCNA because what you see is that when you go around the table at CCNA and everybody talks about their individual neighborhoods and what’s going on you realize it was happening in this neighborhood affects this neighborhood and then what happens here affects this neighborhood in the new we have presenters that come in from the city and you realize that really it’s just a big community of and it’s like this Network that has all these different levels to it and different perspectives in different angles but if we don’t function like a community if we don’t function like a network no individual piece of it’s really going to function to its best capacity and so you want to view the city from all those angles not only for neighborhoods but also from the businesses you know it’s when we were talking about the North Trail and the North Trail overlay when it was first being proposed by the partnership either they were shaping this and defining and designing it and so long the way we were saying who wants to live here and who wants to work here what businesses need to serve the people and do we have the people to go to the businesses to serve them and there’s this constant balance that you have to understand and maintain.
R – You said something there about connecting dots and getting the pieces together how do we do that because it seems like Sarasota for so long has just been this place where people come to retire and kind of slow-down in life and a lot of with that breeds is creating his little silos of diverging thought, so it comes down to find a little group of friends and that’s what they hang out and they don’t really branch out where is if you grew up in a city in you spend your whole life in the city you start building these roots and spreading these this web interconnectivity and it seems like that’s part of what’s missing of the whole here in Sarasota so how do we connect those dots? How do we start having a conversation leads us to a place where we can more effectively communicate about the things that really matter?
C – I think a lot has to do with engaging the community you know our form of government at the city requires that requires – requests – really is built around the idea that we have an Engaged community and we do I mean we very much do you know if you go to any of the city commission meetings any of the planning board meetings but I was in the planning board we got letters we had people coming to the meetings and talking way more than you ever thought you know you think sometimes you’re in your own little world when you’re thinking only about this issue or that issue but when you’re on the planning board of the city commission I believe that they have their faced with all the issues and so you see all these different groups coming in and how they are very focused on their issues and so exactly what you were saying before we do need to connect this community and I think it’s something that’s not impossible you know we have a lot of organizations with CONAN in which is like at the county neighborhood association we have CCNA which is the city we have DID we have down time to prove it with the merchants assistance –
R – But do those groups work together is there any unified effort to just say hey how do we get on the same page every once in a while, or do those become the echo chambers of people just saying this is how we’re going to do it for us and that’s where you get this, you know, butting of heads where it’s like no, we’re going to do it this way because it’s our neighborhood and we’re going to do it this way because it’s our neighborhood and now you have no compatibility is that –
C – See I hear exactly what you’re saying and I do believe that does happen and what you need to do if you need to break out of that and I think one of the things that the city’s doing for the towards the homeless effort right now as they engaged somebody who is going to be Consulting to figure out all of the different organizations that we have in our city and in our area and what who provides what services and bring them together as a network and I think that’s an example that we can use it all the different areas of our city that we need to connect but we need to function more as a community and we need to stop drawing this Line in the Sand and taking sides
R – Can you give me any specifics any specifics on how you think you could help make that happen as the commissioner?
C – The commissioner first of all I think that I’m somebody that listens, I very much appreciate talking to people and letting people talk to anyone – or maybe I shouldn’t say anyone – but I really do enjoy conversations I’d like to talk to say their concerns are I’ve been walking around the city recently as part of the campaign and it’s really heartening to see how people open up and engage with me and I feel that I can do that as well with other Commissioners I have a good relationship with City staff –
R – Let’s go back to the specifics like what do you think from action item standpoint as a City Commissioner I will do x to help maybe do some of those things over to talk about connect the Community get more people involved try to you know create a better dissemination of communication structure whenever that may be what are those items for you?
C – One of the biggest issues of connection and communication is with the county between City in the county I think that’s an obvious area that needs Improvement and I’m hopeful with the two new Commissioners that that is something that we can facilitate I know one of the Commissioners pretty well and I with the two new ones I hope that those are areas where we can start bridging Communications I know that one of them is well known for Crossing Lines up party lines and for breaking out of that mold and I hope that that would really be an area where we can explore and start bringing the city and the county together for their own better conversations because it’s a community and as a region we need to that not only in Sarasota but it also end in Manatee we need to look South we need to look North we need to look East and we need to realize like I was saying earlier the neighborhoods function as part of the community functions as part of the area in the region and so on and so forth.
R – Because you just interjected Manatee there as we were we should love go it’s very interesting to see what they’re doing are you familiar at all with what’s going on with the Sound Ordnance up there Manatee County?
R – Group of young professionals Millennial all the young professionals group is involved the M3 movement and just some people and in the community who are passionate about these issues as well as city and county governments coming to the table to find a real solution for how do we maintain this you know quiet for the people who want that but then how do we allow for this other thing where we want that and I think that’s a discussion that we’ve almost closed the door on in Sarasota so is that an example of how we might like what in your mind what do we need to do downtown from a viability standpoint because that seems to be a hot topic you know and a lot of people in a younger – in our demographic get really frustrated with a downtown that closes around six seven o’clock and becomes a ghost town and then you only have these really you know 4 or 5 options versus a vibrant nightlife or whatever maybe to attract more of that used how do you feel about a new that what’s your plan do you have any insight on any of that as you wouldn’t from the city Commission?
C – Right, and I think that’s really good because it is a topic that I don’t think is going to go away I mean that we spoke about that about I’m going to guess 4 years ago it went it was coming up and we were talking about this The Sound Ordinance in how are we going to do this and balance it and that’s exactly what it is it’s about the balance between a vibrant downtown which we needed to be vibrant but vibrant also means like you’re talking about businesses need to be functioning they need to be viable and they need to be opened I think they need to be that’s right end of the down town needs to be a mix and I think we need to have that balance between restaurants and bars and things for people to go to but also it’s got to be a livable place as well and I think that’s a really delicate mix and again we were talking about connectivity these are groups that need to be talking these are groups that need to be on the same page you know there’s no reason why as a City Commissioner you can’t bring these groups together and say okay let’s all talk about what we have in common we are we starting from and where we want to go what do we all want downtown to look like and hot function and how are we going to get there let’s talk about our options and let’s compromise and negotiate let’s think about this looks like outside of our area other places do this and do this well let’s look there too so I think these fostering these conversations is where we really need to start.
R – Just for the sake of the fifth Facebook segment because we’re going to pop off the Facebook feed here in a couple minutes what’s your favorite part about living in Sarasota like what keeps you here?
C – What keeps me here is the fact that of course everybody loves Sarasota weather but I love the fact that I’m raising my children here this is a place that my husband and I very specifically moves to we lived in Paris France we very specifically moved to Sarasota to have our family and it was a place where we could have at the house and our kids could go to public school my husband is an artist so we have a lively Arts Community I love – my heart is with nonprofits and I have a handful of wonderful nonprofit plans and this is what in our community and braces all of these things that we have the beach and all those wonderful things too.
R – One final question before we cut the Facebook if you had a magic wand I’m going to hand you a magic wand you get to wave it over Sarasota and change one thing what is that?
C – I would have to say – Oh 1 thing do I only have one thing it’s not one of those magic wands where you get to wish for more? Right now it would have to be traffic I would have, I would have to stop all of the plans that we have right now for our street and for the way things are growing traffic-wise in the grid left that we have and I would make that better and then I would I would sit down with some very serious planners and then we would plan how we want our City to move forward as far as traffic goes and traffic circles and multimodal and bikes and am I waving my wand and wishing more things.
R – You open the door there that we’re going to jump into so if you’re watching on Facebook you’re going to want to check out these videos next week as we released the full content kind of dive in but I want to ask you more about this STOP thing because I know that you are a part of the group and that’s the name of the group and so we’re going to dive into some of that but for right now that’s all you get to see Facebook make sure you like our Facebook page follow us on Instagram where can I go to find out more information about you?
C – They can go to vote for Jen dot org.
R – Okay and that’s it rap on that and will continue the interview here shortly.
R – I hear about this group STOP, I don’t know much about it people may hear the name stop and just think seems very on point what is that mean right why group STOP, what is their goal what is your involvement with the explain a little about that.
C – Not a problem not a problem, STOP actually starting to form around May and what did happen was it there a group of us it and completely desperate group of people a sort of independently having the same thing happened which was I was getting my neighbors because of me know my being the present of my neighbor dissociation and being so involved in the city and all these different groups that I’m involved with every time I would go to something you know anyone of the variety of the SOS save our tree canopy Bay Front 20/20 or CCNA or any of those things people would stop me and they would say how did The View get approved how did this happen I don’t understand who approved it who can I write and yell at and I would say you can’t it really you can’t and so then I was reading I think the Tipping Point for me was I read an editorial in the paper and it said you know, the stromal and had visitors from out of town and they were driving them to the beach and as they were stuck in traffic on the way to the beach somebody was looking at the view and saying you should you know right you’re Commissioners and you should tell the shame on you for allowing this thing imposing building right up to the street you don’t have to get up sidewalks it’s causing gridlock and then you should you give your commissioner is an earful and I just let us this person clearly doesn’t understand how the view was the approved, that it was approved administratively and that was when I got on the phone and I just called some of the other people that are involved in stop and I said this is really getting frustrating how can we get the word out to people to that they understand how are city has been developing and we all got together we had our first meeting I believe it was in May and we just were talking about the name and we were saying what should we call it a we were trying to come up with this sort of force acronyms and stuff came from the soul thing just let stop with all just stop you know stop complaining stop not understanding stop spreading information that’s not true you don’t blame your Commissioners or how could this have happened let’s all figure it out okay so I understand administrative approval I can explain to people how this happened and it wasn’t any sort of devious under-the-radar kind of thing it’s in our downtown master plan and these developers were going by the code they could have opted to he said for their back but they chose not to and that was an option to for them.
R – I brought up some of those concerns Tom Bar when and it – other people around town and the answer that was given to me is that those were built to code and that was set to the city plan or whatever that whatever the master plan was that he was like 20 years ago when they are –maybe not even that it’s like I think that was they brought some big wig in to tell us how the city should be built and said this is how you build it to create some certain kind of feel for this type of city that you want to build and the way you do that is you build right out to the road and you do XY and Z and so they’ve kind of been following that plan downtown and like you’re saying a lot of people don’t know that those projects get approved administratively which means that the city commission never really had the chance to vote on a that stuff it’s just kind of gets rubber-stamp to the back channels and so that that is an interesting thing that people should consider as they’re looking into this information is understanding how a lot of that works.
C – I would avoid the words back Channels because that sounds sort of devious and underhanded and it’s as it’s not it’s downtown master plan it was under strain that was brought in and it’s the from the school of the Congress of new urbanism and so the idea is that if you have your buildings pushed up to the street you have this interaction with The Pedestrian and the storefront it so that number one its first step 10 principles you know for safety so that people are looking out onto the street and people are looking in so you have that sense of safety when you’re walking around your downtown because there people inside and you’re interacting with those storefronts and that’s and that they should be pushed up to the front because if they’re pushed back in there in that creates that sort of not linear blocking, you want to engage with you want to look in that’s the sort of very basic premise of what we’re talking about here and so when you do this you create a downtown master plan that is that is Define so it’s a form based code is what it is and so it says that in this area here in the downtown bay front for example you can build 18 stories you can build up your own and it’s also defined by primary streets and secondary streets have a lot to do with it primary streets are streets that are supposed to be walk able secondary streets or less walk able so when the primary Street you really want to encourage the pedestrian – make The Pedestrian sort of the king and so the all these definitions of primary streets and secondary streets and downtown Bay front downtown core downtown neighborhood Edge downtown Edge they all Define how tall building can be a with a density can be how much glass front you have on how far set back it can be where you put your parking lots and so on and so forth and it’s all to Foster this predictability is form base code this new urbanism in this walkability and that and part of that which was not part of the original plan as the city commission was approving this administrative approval was not written it was not said it was not written some of the planners it was sort of understood because that’s kind of a piece of the fabric of new urbanism but the City commissioners and the city staff if that was not written it was not said and it became part of the downtown master plan so I don’t think we really understood what we were doing and we’ve been doing it for 13 years and it’s only in the down town so this city has two different ways of approving development projects okay so you have a pure administrative approval which is just in the downtown area and then it so it’s like an egg right, and yolk is the downtown. Pure administrative approval and then the white part of the egg is where you have a mix of administrative approval and public approval I just wanted to go back to that mention of no back door no rubber-stamp it really is you don’t process that you can the fire trucks turnaround Can the police access this what about storm water what about sewage what about utilities what about right of way what about zoning density height so they go through their lists and everybody checks off their list this is the theory right and it all of this list is checked off then we know what to expect the problem is that when you have a town that’s developing and building and they’re all these different things that are being built and planned and the public doesn’t know it’s happening you are alienating the people that are supposed to embrace this.
R – How do you bring the people into that process because that sounds like a lot of things happening to be honest and as we’re seeing we’re being handcuffed Now by policies and things that were said over a decade ago and even further they’re done sure that’s a trickle down and in every that’s the way it works right so myself policy and that’s the policy have to wait operate until somebody changes the policy right and so how do we make sure that we stay out of a situation like this as we move forward how do we make this more open how do we do that again pacifically in this context from a city commission standpoint.
C – Well I think that what we do is we get rid of administrative approval in the downtown area especially for projects like the view that are these massive blocks that are administratively approved so even if you wanted to yell at the city staff and say how could you do this they are constrained to so we’ve put ourselves in this position and what stops one of stops 4 goals is to stop this what stop this experiment it’s only been going for 13 years we don’t do that in the rest of the city unless 4 projects that are under 5,000 square feet or 10,000 square feet depending upon their distance from a neighborhood but we don’t have this massive administrative approval at all in the rest of this city and what is so important is that when you have the public process you have the community Workshop so people go the developer holds this community Workshop explain with the project going to be how it’s going to work and then typically what happens in neighborhoods or communities around it say you know where is your parking going to be what are your hours of operation going to be what about your lighting what about the noise are there any couldn’t even drive through’s these are impact things these are questions of compatibility so is this planned project whether it’s a business or their it’s a condo or where there’s a mixed-use project is this going to be compatible with the surrounding neighborhood that’s an opportunity for the developer to say this is something is going to be embraced or this is something that’s not going to be embraced and immediately as a developer you want the community to either buy your condos live in your condos go to your hotel visit the businesses and you want the community there and this process alienates the community so you have no Community Workshop you have no public hearing before the planning board and no public hearing before the city commission so the City commissioners in the planning board your own elected officials as a voter do not have the opportunity to even discuss the project.
R – Well from there let’s look at some of the voter turnout numbers because that’s where we really get kind of disheartening for me because on average over the last 3 City elections more than 60% of the voter turnout from people 65 and up and we were talking about less than 20% on average voter turnout in the city elections so is that the starting point I mean do we need to start having a conversation about moving this election is that the relevant conversation how to and if not if that’s not the conversation then how do we get more people involved in that process because then we talked about that yesterday I understand both sides of the right understand this idea let’s move the elections in November so that more people can show up but then we also bring people in there just maybe Party Line voting or not paying attention those local issues where is having it over here you kind of have to have a specific knowledge and you have two more you know you kind of have to be dedicated to go and do that and that’s what happened to the not a lot of people get involved in that they and everyone’s fatigued from a November election and then they don’t show it so how do we change that engagement how do we bump that up how do we get I think it was something like the more people over the age of 90 as a percentage of their voter demographic showed up to vote in the last election then under the age of 30 which is laughable when you have a hundred and thirty-five registered or a hundred thirty-five people under the age of 30 show up to vote out of something like 3500 registered voters under the age 30 is silly, how do we change that, how do we get people excited?
C – First of all from the macro-level so I’m going to go back to my education where we as a country we need to fix that problem I think generally in America we don’t vote the way we should turn out to vote the way we should you know it said again and again and again when I was a kid until now and I’m not a kid anymore we are lucky to have the right to vote is our voice and it’s the voice that you have that we have fought for and we fight to maintain and we need to vote everybody was the right to vote needs to vote and I think but I’m not just sitting here but what you were doing is amazing I think this sort of an interaction the time and the effort in the energy that you’re putting into talking with all of the candidates and then holding your event that you’re holding and engaging the community and not just engaging a portion of the community you’re engaging in of the whole Community everybody’s invited to your event I think that’s a good first step to really getting the word out we need to go we need to get involved and you need to understand what your candidates are talking about where they come from what they’re doing where they’ve been and what their experiences and what they want to do for the city.
R – And it’s even more so on that local scale because of course the national election and everyone gets excited because it’s glamorous and people are spending lots of money on it and everyone gets emotionally riled up for this thing but it’s very difficult to have a real impact whereas we seeing these elections come down to less than a hundred votes by handful of votes sometimes yeah and so when you’re talking about a decision like that and you start the thing yes every vote does especially this contact it becomes imperative for you know we’re talking about five hundred votes could make all the difference in the selection March right I mean maybe last two or three hundred make all the difference in the selection and so anybody was watching this video more powerful than you think you are in a situation like this and if you can go get your friends or neighbors and you get them excited when you put fresh blood in the end you know you create an agent for change then you create an opportunity to them carry some his momentum forward and I’m hung just excited to see what will come from any of that.
C – I agree I mean I think that you know it I would love to see the more people engaged and out voting and talking and interacting and participating in our government like I said before you know are our city our commission managers form of government requires participation it requests it needs it and that’s what we need to do in your City commissioners the sitting Commissioners the candidates need to hear what the people want they need to hear what they think about issues.
R – Are they open to that right now? Are they open do you think? The city commission do you think is listening?
C – I do think they are listening I really do and nobody does this job serves the City any other reason than they want to really start the community what do you agree with some of you like the Commissioners, or you don’t like the Commissioners there’s no other reason to do it then you have passion for this community.
R – What excites you the most about being a city commissioner?
C – Being involved in the community being involved in Sarasota you know we got so many things coming up Bay front 20/20 is a big one the quay project as a big one administrative approval is a big one the development the traffic sidewalks park, parks is a huge issue in our city I want to see that really paid attention to and I’ve been involved SOS save our tree canopy and then a shoot off organization of that which is the city’s first Canopy Street program so myself Nathan Wilson and his wife Rachel Wilson are working with Tim and a group of at the city to create the city’s first canopy Tree Street program which will protect portions of our city that have these beautiful Canopy trees and it’ll not only protect the trees but it’ll protect the roads it’ll protect the area around it to the streets and so on and so forth this is really what we want to preserve about our City and we have we have potential for great Parks we do have great Parks let’s have better Parks you know we have a great little pocket parks lets have more little pocket Parks we need pocket parks in the Rosemary District these kind of tiny little fabric elements that make our city that differentiate us from the other beach towns in Florida and beach towns in the US we have these things let’s preserve them let’s keep them including our –
R – How do we retain our youth? Right because all that sounds well and good and I would love it right that sounds great we have a statistic from The Young professionals group here locally that says 77% of young professionals either are currently or have recently considered leaving Sarasota primarily due to the cost of affordable housing so at end and that’s one thing right because I have my finger on the pulse of that demographic I think in this community and housing is a big issue but there’s a lot of other things too that come along we talked a little bit about the vibrancy of the downtown nightlife some of the parks for sure you know how these see the beaches are great but what is there to do outside of that and so again from the scope of a younger demographic the people who are going to be doing the job that people get any benefit in the work or putting in 20 years from now how do we keep them here how do we get them excited?
C – Affordable housing is a key element is absolutely key to this and what we’ve done is a city unfortunately is that we had an affordable housing a portion of our code and it’s been alleviated over the last couple of years because it again – yes I think affordable housing is it’s absolutely key and that is something that we need to have in our code – not only have in our code but we need to hang on to it there was some projects that came before the planning board when I was in the planning board that ask for more density without the requirement of affordable housing there were projects that asked for vacation of streets but wanted to be alleviated from the affordable housing requirement I voted no on those I was in the minority so it went forward anyway so this is something that if we are serious about it or commissioners need to be serious about it and they need to vote and say this is something that is essential to our community.
R – There’s a lot that goes into what makes affordable housing and you have market conditions in the price of real estate and you have a lot of things but the zoning and the code create the environment within which that stuff then gets the percolator –
C – There’s controlled affordable housing in – there’s it’s controlled where is it if these certain number of unit have to stay at a certain price level –
R – So then you get into like a rent-control situation where you’re very specifically saying you just can’t charge more than that becomes a little heavy handed in my mind I don’t know if that’s the answer it doesn’t mean we can’t explore that or somebody might not presented argument that I might agree with right and in the stent to solve a problem like we’re facing that maybe an answer –
C – How can we talk about that and explore that if we don’t implement it?
R – I think we have to talk and explore then maybe implement right?
C – Everything should be based – decisions should be based on facts right we should have evidence-based decisions and we have evidence about these kinds of things not really in our city because it’s not been implemented we need to have facts and need to deal with facts and that would be a wonderful way to start dealing with facts.
R – Is there anything that you would like to say to your constituents or to the potential voter that maybe watching this that we haven’t covered up to this point or anything from your platform that you like to make sure that you get out to your people?
C – Yeah I mean I think you know we spoke about this before we met a while ago the biggest thing for me is that we all realize that we are in the same Community together and we connect and we realized that we have to function at we need each other to function if we live here if we work here we all need to be on the same page and we don’t have the same opinion and we’re not going to have the same solution but we need to start from that bass stop drawing this Line in the Sand and stop taking sides let’s all get on the same page let’s all get on the same side let’s find our Solutions let’s find them together you’re not going to get everything you want everything we do is not going to be perfect you know but we have to at least try we have to stop polarizing – you mentioned that earlier about these groups that form and they become his little polarizing groups that function amongst themselves – not that these organizations are bad I’m not saying that at all I’m just saying as a community let’s just get on the same page and I think that that’s what your organization is really fostering that start with conversation start with putting all these people who have these different opinions in her room and then let’s start having conversation yes let’s bring these groups of people together I think we mentioned it before about how we have these great universities in our town and colleges with this group of young people that are here let’s grasp this let’s get this group of people with engage them in our community and we have this is very accomplished bright group of retired elderly people let’s bridge that Gap let’s bring these two groups together and let’s see what we can accomplish what’s the see what problems we can’t solve and just bring these two groups of people together and we have creative Young energetic experienced educated smart getting educated bring them together give them a problem let’s see what let’s see what we get out of it.
R – We have a really interesting opportunity and Sarasota to show the whole world how you bridge this divide between Millennial and Boomers and I think that if we can solve that problem at scale here and show the whole country how you bridge that communication gap I mean I think I think we’re already on the way to doing that but I think that becomes this huge – it would be something to be really proud of as a community to figure out how do we solve some these problems and feel like everyone comes away with a win-win. To close up here I just got a couple questions or what kind of closing all these up with what’s one question you’d like to ask me to ask the other candidates what’s something you might want to know from the other candidates or that you think light is not being shed upon?
C – You know I really have to be honest with you about that I am focusing on my own campaign I really am very much focusing on my own campaign and I would love the other candidates to focus on their own campaign I don’t want to have a negative campaign I don’t want to shed any negative light on any of the other campaigns I don’t want to ask a question that may be seen as some sort of manipulation in any way shape or form I really want to focus what I want to do for the city it comes from my heart it comes from me loving and being very passionate about our community and about our city and I’m sure the others are as well and that’s my direction you know I have a great campaign team I have – I love Sarasota I’ve had a great experience here I’m very involved in this city and I want to continue to be involved in this city and I don’t want to spend any of my time or energy shedding anything negative or bad or anything on the on the others when I see them if I have questions I’ll ask them – I’m sure that’s not answering your question the way I wanted to –
R – For instance as an answer to that Susan Chapman yesterday asked about what they feel makes them qualified to be a candidate which I thought was a good question is why I added it to my list so I’m really I’m just and I’m trying to get like you know cheat codes for my interview so that’s all I’m just looking for something that you wish I had that you think would be interesting piece of information or something like that’s all.
R – One more question do you have anything for us or a question for us or for our audience if you would you like to know anything about us or our people?
C – Are you going to be doing more than just your one event?
R – What we’re going to do is leading up to that will probably do small break out some small outreaches in different sections of the community to then hopefully pull them into that and so if anybody’s watching this and you like us to come out to your community group for your community organization Sarasota underground you can find us on Facebook on the website itself anyone can register we would love to come out to your event figure out what you’re doing and community support this you know we have this what we’re here to do is we’re here to shine light on things like this and then try to Showcase what’s going on the community and so yeah if you have something that you think’s interesting as it relates to this weather it’s your campaign tonight yeah we would love to know about it.