Southwest High School Government Teacher Gabrielle Edmond believes it is time for him to step forward and utilize his background in politics and the law to make changes at city hall. Edmond is running for Commissioner this February 14 in hopes of receiving enough votes to inherit Commissioner Velma Palmer’s seat.
A six year resident of South Miami, Edmond said he spent his formative years in Miami as well where he went to high school and also received his undergraduate degree from the University of Miami in political science and history. Edmond then went on to obtain a law degree from Howard University in Washington D.C.
From 1996 to 1999 Edmond was Legislative Council to Senator Bob Graham and in that capacity represented the senator on various legislative issues and topics and helped push sponsored legislative initiatives forward.
“I have experience in government as a congressional aid and I understand the process. I teach high school government and history. I am a South Miami activist and citizen and know what is going on. I serve on local boards like the South Miami Alliance for Youth and have experience in management. I am a concerned citizen and can offer a unique skill set with a deep reservoir of knowledge,” said Edmond.
The right combination of knowledge, experience and an effective plan for change is why Edmond believes the time is right for him to step forward and run for office. The three themes of Edmond’s campaign are jobs, progress and tax relief. “I have been following events at the city commission and attending meetings. We need to do better at providing jobs, progress to offer better quality services in the community, and give residents a tax break to ensure that they can keep their homes.”
The impetus for propelling Edmond’s ideas forward appears to be anchored in his goal for South Miami to have a municipal bank. “A South Miami municipal bank would allow us to keep dollars local to develop our economy. It would also provide a whole range of services as well as significant tax relief. Municipal banks were tried in colonial America. Benjamin Franklin used them. The State Bank of North Dakota provided 3 to 400 million dollars to the state in the last ten years. This model has been in place for 80 years and North Dakota has the best economy in the country.”
Edmond sees the bank as a starting point, a formula that would enable dollars to be leveraged for local pending projects such as the Madison Square development. Tax relief and jobs could follow suit according to Edmond once the benefits of a municipal bank concept are understood by residents.
“A project like the Madison Square development is a perfect example of a local initiative that could be promoted through the bank. The bank could be a beginning that would allow us to do other things.” On the Madison Square project overall, Edmond believes it must take shape into a project that is best suited for the community. “Very large buildings are not right for South Miami to maintain our small town feel. We need to look at appropriate development on a case by case basis.”
On annexation Edmond suggests backing up a bit to understand the motivation behind it. “We are ahead of ourselves on annexation. For what reason do we want to expand? Let’s look around the community and find out who is interested in joining. There appears to be a history of not wanting to be a part of the city. Once we gather interest we should have a good reason for doing it.”
Edmond supports the completion of the Murray Pool and green living. “I support a community pool. I am a strong supporter for green initiatives when appropriate and feasible. The bike lane projects for example are good.”
Edmond’s experience as an advisor for the Model United Nations for eleventh and twelfth graders could come in handy at city hall. On the status quo of the commission Edmond said, “We need to work together. If I am elected I want to work with all of the commissioners to move the city forward. You only have control over yourself. By controlling your own conduct we can all work together even if we disagree.”
Gabriel Edmond can be reached at 305- 992-6937 or by email at email@example.com.