Meet City of Orlando Commissioner, District 5, Candidates
Hey you, Mr./Mrs. Registered Voter – Did you know that Orlando City Commissioner candidate Regina Hill is a full-time registered nurse or that another candidate in the same race, Cynthia Harris, is originally from Mississippi and has a Criminal Justice background?
You may have known. However, far too often voters don’t see or hear from the people who represent them or want to represent them until close to Election Day. At that point, voters have little time to learn details about the hopefuls or see what the incumbents have done during their last term in office.
The goal of the Orlando Community News’ Candidates Roundup is to give voters a closer look at the people running for public offices up for grabs next year in Orange County and in the City of Orlando. The focus is on hotly contested offices that represent residents in Pine Hills and surrounding communities.
First up: City of Orlando Commission-District 5. While three incumbent city commissioners are up for re-election in April, only one of those commissioners is facing competition so far and that is Commissioner Daisy Lynum for District 5, representing over 40,000 residents from downtown to Hiawassee Road and points in between.
Harris and Hill are running against Lynum. Here are their responses to the OCN questionnaire sent out to all three candidates in light of this article.
Harris: I decided to run one, for the love of my neighbors and my community. District 5 is abundant in financial resources for both small business and neighborhoods. Although
we may have limited knowledge, we have even less access for the necessary improvements to make our district comparable to our neighboring districts. As the next City Commissioner, I would like to make community resources accessible to all.
Hill: I am running for office to make a difference – to bring about change for our community, with new and innovative leadership.
What background do you have to be considered for the office?
Harris: My background and degree are in Criminal Justice and Social Services. I hold nine FDLE certifications in various disciplines as well as five FEMA certifications. Also, I have had training in grassroots disaster relief for the City of Orlando.
Hill: I have demonstrated my passion for helping others. I have been in the community, asked and listened to the people. I am often in attendance at community meetings and events fighting for the disenfranchised – standing with and for the people. In addition, I am a graduate of Jones High School, with military experience (Disabled Navy Veteran) and over 26 years of professional experience in the nursing field. Also, I am the owner of several small businesses and a leader with local AMVETS Post 30 and others.
What political experience, service on community boards, etc. do you have?
Harris: I have volunteered on various campaigns locally and nationally. I have worked in
management positions that qualifies me to understand both labor contracts as
well as governmental contracts. I have participated in the writing of various
small business grants as well as governmental grants in non-profit sectors.
Hill: I have been politically active most of my life: Active Volunteer for Women for Obama and Women of Color Coalition, Inc. during the 2012 Presidential Election Campaign, Member of the Outreach Team, Orange County Democratic Executive Committee; Serenity Gift of Love Outreach, Volunteer; Urban League, Member; National Action Network (NAN), Member; Freemasonry – Daughter of Sphinx, Eastern Star; member of various ministries at Majestic Life Ministries.
What are the three most important issues facing the district?
Harris: Transparency/Accountability, Public Safety and Economic Development
Hill: The three most important issues facing District 5 are education, employment and housing. In general, many of us are undereducated and underemployed, with inadequate housing. Many are plagued with social ills, such as criminal backgrounds, mental issues, and substance abuse problems.
How would you address those issues?
Harris: One, as the next elected official, my office would always ensure accessibility and
accountability. Constituents are always the employer and not the employee. The
constituents will always have a voice with consideration in the decision making
of what goes on in District 5. Two, improve public safety and establish a working relationship with local law enforcement. I propose neighborhood beats because they work.
They worked in the early 40’s and 50’s and also when Val Demings was Chief of
Hill: The key to addressing these issues is coalition and community building. We must improve the education of the children; the employability of the adults; the economics of the community; and quality of life for the elderly and disenfranchised. We must come together as a community and secure funding and grants; in order
to implement needed programs and services. We must also tap into the resources that exist within our community and partner with local businesses to implement programs to
improve the economics, education, and employability of our community members
Personal Background – List Hometown, Family, Education, Current Employment
Harris: Born in Mississippi and raised In Orlando, I am a mother of two daughters and
grandmother of three. I attended Mississippi College, Valencia College (A.A.,
Criminal Justice), University of Central Florida (B.S., Criminal Justice). Nine FDLE Certifications, Five FEMA certifications, Grassroots Disaster Training in Orlando, Executive Director of Carson-Chaney House, Inc.
Hill: I am a lifelong resident of Central Florida and a product of Orange County Public Schools, having graduated from Jones High School in 1983. After high school, I served my country by enlisting in the United States Navy. Consistent with my commitment to helping others, I am a registered nurse working as a home nurse. In addition, I own several small businesses. I have raised three beautiful children.
© Orlando Community News, 2013