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Council Member Peluso: Progressive Ideas for Jacksonville

City Council Member Jimmy Pelouso, Democrat representing District 7, came to speak to Indivisible Mandarin and Beaches Activist Movement members on Tuesday, April 16th, at the Kori Road Library.

A highly decorated Navy veteran serving Jacksonville in his first term on the City Council, Council Member Peluso impressed us all with his progressive vision for Jacksonville and all who live in it. During his very first week as a CCM, he voiced his support for the removal of the last of the Confederate statues. His support carried the day, and the statue was finally removed! How did the other CCMs react to the removal? He told us that they were secretly pleased that this problem was now resolved while outwardly showing their displeasure - and, that he had the full backing of Mayor Deegan.

Council Member Peluso spoke of having a gigantic white board in his office where he has all of his objectives for the next four years listed on it. At the very top is gun violence. He attended the ICARE Nehemiah Assembly the previous evening and was acknowledged by Dr. Tracye Polson, Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Deegan Adminstration, who was one of the speakers. While speaking to us on Tuesday, the council member laid out workable plans for reducing gun violence here in JAX (we have the highest murder rate in the state) that don't require Sheriff Water's direct involvement, as the sheriff has been slow to address this issue in an innovative manner.

He went on to speak on flooding and resilience, food deserts, and the plans for the 37 empty blocks that JAX owns which will be turned into housing for the homeless. He was hopeful about the addition of another much-needed grocery store in the Montcrief area, as it is one of the food deserts. He told us that GoodWill is building a grocery store in the east end of JAX as a start.

After speaking to us for over an hour, we had to wrap up the meeting as the library was about to close. The council member answered every question posed and was willing to answer more. He ended by telling us that he enjoyed being with us as much as we enjoyed having him there, and that he's willing to come back. I've never enjoyed listening to a politician more, and could have easily stayed to hear what else he had to say. He's well-spoken, friendly, approachable, caring, and passionate about what he wants to change here in Jacksonville for the good of all of its citizens. Jacksonville is fortunate to have Jimmy Peluso on our City Council.


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