Name: Lisa King
Family: Married, 3 Children, 2 grandchildren – with one on the way.
Occupation: Senior Vice President, Langton Consulting. Grant writer for Cities and Counties. Best know locally for writing $11 million in grants that some credit with saving the St. Johns River Ferry.
Political/Government experience: Former Chair of Jacksonville Planning Commission, Former Vice Chair of Jacksonville Housing and Community Development Commission.
Years lived in Jacksonville: 56
Campaign website: www.lisalovesjax.com
Why did you decide to run for office: I love Jacksonville. I was born here, educated in our public schools, and raised my three children here.
In 1961, my parents built the Gator Lodge on Philips Highway and we lived off the lobby when I was small. I learned the value of hard work and serving the public from my parents. And I learned from them the importance of leading by example. They were in charge, but did every job - clean rooms, run the switchboard, greet guests, wash dishes, haul trash – no matter if the task was considered menial or important.
Philips Highway went into decline in the 70’s, and like so many parts of our City, continues to struggle due to a lack of commitment from our leaders to infrastructure investment. Too many of our neighborhoods suffer from decades old promises that have not been kept, contributing to cycles of poverty and lack of opportunity. Our people are part of our infrastructure too!
While leading Jacksonville’s Planning Commission, I heard from citizens again and again that efforts to improve many neighborhoods fell short. In my role, I worked hard to study all factors of each request and strived to prevent shortsighted decisions that would negatively impact our neighborhoods and families. For your family and mine, I want a Jacksonville that keeps its long overdue promises, plans for the future, and values the safety of every family.
What is the biggest problem facing Jacksonville as a city overall, and how specifically would seek to address that: We are not going to have the economy we want if we don't have safe streets and communities. We have to address our very real crime problem, and that starts with bringing real economic investment to every corner of our community. We need to be doing more to support families, providing after school programs to help young working parents, promoting job training programs, and doing more to assist the people with mental illness. Putting more police officers on the street was the first step, but it cannot be the only thing we do. If we invest in our people, we can solve the most challenging problems that we face. And I believe we can get it done.
What makes your constituents unique, and how would that influence your time in office: As an at-large candidate, I am running to represent all the citizens of Jacksonville. I am proud to have been born here and made the conscious decision to return after college and raise my family here. We have an incredibly rich history and an unmatched physical environment. I have been blessed to live in north Jacksonville and raise my kids in the world's best playground - the Timucuan Preserve. This perspective makes me extremely aware of the role our parks and open spaces and our river play in drawing new residents and recruiting businesses to Jacksonville.
What would be your main budget priority for the upcoming fiscal year: Funding prevention and intervention services for children and families.
How do you define what you hope Jacksonville will be ten years from now: A Jacksonville that keeps its long overdue promises, plans for the future, and values the safety of every family. Our budget is a values document and should reflect these hopes.
EDITOR’S NOTE: WOKV asked all candidates in a race to answer the same questions, and the answers here are their unedited responses. WOKV has not independently verified information in these answers, nor is WOKV endorsing any candidates.