County Commission District 2: Hannah Crow
1) Interests and Reasons for Running
A) Tell us a little about yourself, where you live, and your involvement in your neighborhood (issues impacting your neighborhood).
I live near Lake Talquin in the Ft. Braden community. We moved here in 2018 when we got married. Our community is very rural and we don’t have too many neighborhood associations.
B) What event(s) led you to run for elected office?
I come from a PR and Communication background and believe in grassroots advocacy. As I talked with people in our area, they seemed to feel disconnected; they wanted things to happen that weren’t happening. I wanted to see events and people engaged, so I started a private Facebook group for the area, and a website. Then I talked with Jimbo Jackson, who was our neighbor, and he helped me meet with people from all different community organizations- Faith-based, schools, the Sheriff’s Department, Sustainability. Our first big project was a community garden. Working with the community for four years, I slowly realized that community engagement was also politics- the engagement, finding funding for projects, helping the community get things done. I know I can do a commissioner’s job- listening to people and helping them get what they want and need. And I love all the different elements that make up local government and connect us together.
2) Comprehensive Plan Update Process
A) Are you familiar with the comprehensive planning process and its role in guiding growth and development, and protecting neighborhoods?
I am aware of the document but I need to know more about it and the process. What is working? What isn’t? It needs to have a balance of citizen engagement and builders, everyone in the community.
B) What role should citizens have in deciding on growth and development policies for our community?
The citizens should have a very important role- the Plan affects us each directly.
3) Process Used to Decide on the Use of Public Properties
What role should citizens and neighborhoods have in deciding on the use of public properties and how do you think and how do you think that should work, for example in the development of the Northwood Mall site?
The commission should respond to the needs of the community. We need to engage with the community to find out what that is. You might not be able to please everybody, but there needs to be a balance so we can improve quality of life and collectively try to do what’s best for the whole community.
4) Growth and Development Decisions
A) ATN believes that growth and development decisions are key to making urban neighborhoods walkable, bikeable, and livable. Do you agree? If so, what specifically would you propose to implement these concepts?
Yes, I agree. Healthy kids and families need to be able to get outside into green space. In Ft. Braden it’s too rural for sidewalks, so we developed a walking path. It goes from our community center to our community garden to our meeting area. We developed an advocacy team to get it done, and also worked with KCCI to get benches, etc. We also built exercise areas along the path. And we were able to expand our playground to add new ADA features. We needed these things because our school has poor health rates.
B) In your opinion, has the Commission done enough to equitably share tax dollars and guide growth and prosperity generally, and more specifically, to implement the Southern Action Plan? What else should we do to ensure growth is equitable and benefits all of our citizens?
I’ve looked at the budgets and I see that the commissioners have been trying to distribute funding to all districts. We need to look at the whole county and work collaboratively.
5) Commissioner/Staff/Management Roles
What do you see as the appropriate role between staff and the commission in decision making?
This is an important relationship. The commissioners should be the eyes and ears of the community and listen to what the community needs. Then they should work with staff to get those resources. Commissioners need to educate themselves, ask questions, and make the best decision they can.
6) Issues of Interest to Candidate
Are there one or two issues you would like to work on and/or take leadership on as a commissioner?
Responsible growth, blue collar jobs, homelessness. Homelessness needs a wholesale approach; I’d like to work with the homeless task force. Food insecurity- access to fresh food- is another big issue.
Overarching all of this is the need to communicate with the community. This is critical. People must know what resources are available to them and what help they can get. Commissioners need to have an integrated relationship with all the community leaders of all types to be able to share this information.
7) Votes on Key Issues
A) If you had been a commissioner during the vote to expand the Urban Service Area to include the Welaunee Arch (2800 rural acres) north of I-10, how would you have voted? Explain your answer.
I would need to dig into this issue further to know more about it. I would try to find a balanced solution.
B) How about the vote to give $27 million of Blueprint money to FSU for stadium upgrades? Explain your answer.
This issue also needed balance. Blueprint gave money to FAMU, and FSU is a large part of our economy, and many small businesses are tied to the stadium and football. We need to use the stadium for more than football games. I would have tried to find a different compromise.
8) Additional Comments We appreciate you sharing your time and thoughts with us. Is there anything you haven’t had a chance to tell us yet that you would like our neighborhoods to know?
I think community engagement is the answer to a lot of questions. Neighborhoods are the backbones of our communities. As commissioners we need to be able to find compromises and have conversations to be able to address our problems.