Race tension across the country has city officials looking for ways to reunite their communities. The candidates for Tallahassee City Commission Seat one discussed their solutions on Monday’s Political Perspectives show.
Incumbent Scott Maddox and his challengers, Luther Lee and Bruce Strouble, want to prevent race fueled tragedies from happening in Tallahassee. Strouble thinks the solution lies in fixing what he calls a broken justice system.
He says, “When we look at the way that our justice is administered in the United States, this is another area where people feel there is huge disparity, and people are losing faith in our justice system. And I believe that that may be what’s causing people to feel the need to take things into their own hands, and we can’t have that. We don’t want vigilantism in our country.”
But Scott Maddox doesn’t think equal justice is a problem in Tallahassee.
“I think that our law enforcement officers give equal zeal to any crimes that are committed. I don’t think there is any type of institutional leaning one way or the other based on the demographic of the person committing or the victim of the crime,” says Maddox.
Luther Lee sees the issue a little differently. Instead of focusing on what happens after a crime, he’s advocating for bridging socioeconomic divides by learning from each other and growing bonds.
Lee says, “If you get to know them, know their family, know their kids, know their wives and husbands, and you share meals with them, you share intimate moments with these people, it’s a lot harder to have conflict with these people once you get to know each other. I think that’s a lot of what’s missing. You have events on one side of town and then events on another side of town, but there’s not a whole lot of events that bring each other together.”
Leon County Schools employee Gary Gayle is also running for the seat, but could not attend the Political Perspectives discussion.