Curtis Richardson, currently the longest-serving member of the Tallahassee City Commission, will face off against challenger Bill Schack on Nov. 3 for the right to represent Seat 2.
Since he was first elected in 2014, Richardson has dedicated his service to “building bridges through community engagement.”
When asked by E.thePeople about facing current challenges seen by the city of Tallahassee, Richardson responded with a plan to ease the strain of violence and racial and economic segregation.
“We must ensure the safety of our residents and guests. Crime, especially violent crime, is a major issue for us,” Richardson said. “We will continue community policing in partnership with neighborhoods, invest in youth crime prevention like TEMPO and encourage law enforcement coordination.”
Equal opportunities for Black and low-income areas are also at the top of Richardson’s list.
“This can be addressed through education and job training, creating jobs — high-wage and high skill — and provide more affordable housing throughout the community.”
Richardson is a two-time Florida State University graduate who began his career in the capital city after receiving his Ph.D. He has previously served as an elected member of the Florida Department of Education, Leon County School Board and the Florida House of Representatives. Throughout his 30-year career, Richardson has undoubtedly played a hand in the growth and development of the community.
Richardson vowed on his campaign website that if reelected he would work diligently with his colleagues and the mayor to make Tallahassee “a city we can all be proud of.”
Schack, the food services director for Tallahassee’s homeless shelter, is eager to redeem himself after losing a commissioner race in 2018. If elected this year he plans on bringing a new perspective to the seat with ideals based on the needs of low-income neighborhoods, special needs individuals, non-profit organizations within the community, and the support of law enforcement.
Schack’s resume shows years of service through volunteering after graduating from FSU.
When asked about top challenges in the city, he too responded with a passion to reduce the amount of crime taking place in Tallahassee.
“I believe crime and public safety is and will be the cornerstone to our economic recovery,” said Schack. “If crime goes down, it means police issues are being addressed, neighborhoods are safer, and those committing crime stop repeating because they find good jobs, and families feel confident living and working in our city.”
His close relationships to neighborhoods through volunteer work and service are expected to give citizens a “seat” on the City Commission, he said.
“A new commissioner will need to be involved and engaged with community leaders like never before, and for me that will simply be an extension of my life’s work,” Schack said.
Florida A&M political science major Jordan Rogers understands the importance of an involved city commissioner. It is not just about speaking out, he said, but the action that is put in behind the words.
“When choosing a city commissioner, I look at their involvement within the community they plan on serving,” said Rogers. “As well, I look into their background history, including their education, and history in politics, public service and relations.”
Richardson is confident in his reelection following the primary results in August. According to unofficial results from the Supervisor of Elections Office, Richardson carried the lead with nearly 47% of the voting majority followed by Schack’s 18%.
Voting will take place on Nov. 3 and is available to all registered city voters. To find voting stations near you, visit vote.org.