It has been my honor to serve as your Public Defender since 2009. I could not be more proud of the work our office has done these past seven years and I cannot think of a better way to serve our community than by forging ahead with all our amazing efforts.
Many of you remember the great things we started when we first came into office. We streamlined our budget process which has allowed us to come in under budget every year. This new approach to government has allowed us to return well over $1 million of your tax dollars back to Tallahassee. Working closely with city government we relocated to our current location on Laura Street. Vacating our old building allowed the city of Jacksonville to end its most expensive building contract. We have brought the office into the 21st century by implementing new technologies such as paperless filing systems and additional video conferencing units which have resulted in significantly lower operating costs while also allowing our attorneys to work more efficiently.
We have implemented numerous “smart justice” initiatives to actively address the violence that is plaguing our community. By founding Vision for Excellence in 2010, an education-based summer program for underprivileged youth living in our most depressed neighborhoods, we have successfully intervened and enriched the lives of scores of children throughout our community. We designed the program to build character and provide positive role models for these young men.
We have worked closely with our Judges in Nassau, Duval, and Clay counties to form one of the few Veterans Treatment Courts in Florida to ensure those who have served our country get the treatment they need. We have worked closely with Drug Court and Mental Health Court to ensure these people also get the help they need opting for cost-saving rehabilitation programs for first-time offenders.
Looking forward, I believe the great work we’ve been doing here in Nassau, Duval, and Clay counties will only get better. I’m excited to seek your support again and excited this campaign gives us an opportunity to reflect back on the great successes we’ve accomplished while we commit ourselves to moving forward and continuing the important and critical work our office does.
I look forward to seeing you on the campaign trail and humbly ask for your vote on August 30th.