If elected county commissioner, Jasmine Ali wants to focus on reducing crime and improving quality of life in Leon County’s first district. The 20-year-old FSU student feels it’s time for a fresh face in the seat long held by incumbent Bill Proctor.
Bill Proctor has served as Leon County’s District One since 1996. In his bio on the county’s website he says his priorities are affordable housing, quality healthcare and education. But Ali, his opponent in the upcoming election, says while she finds his service admirable, she thinks Proctor has burned too many bridges to adequately deliver on those promises.
“It is time to break that cycle of divisiveness and hostility you know? People want to meet others where they are and when you’re not taking that stance and meeting others where they are they’re going to walk away. There needs to be a voice at the table that has the best interests of others in mind and right now I’m not sure that’s what we have,” Ali says.
Ali says she’d like to stop the brain drain she believes follows every graduation day at Florida State and Florida A&M Universities.
“You know we see many students coming in and many leaving as they graduate. We need to figure out how to keep them here and create a job or workforce for them and really thrive and establish a lifelong residency here,” Ali says.
She says that means creating new jobs that are attractive for college graduates, involving members of the community in decisions about development in order to create a better quality of life, and cutting down on crime.
“There has been a decrease. We’re down to 14 percent and then 18 percent in the unincorporated areas of the county and like I said before it falls on our young people,” Ali says.
Leon County’s District One makes up part of the city’s South side—extending from West Tharpe Street through French town and past Orange Avenue, before moving into more rural neighborhoods as it travels south near Woodville Highway and east along Tram Road. Ali made her comments on WFSU’s public affairs show, Perspectives. Incumbent, Bill Protctor had agreed to participate in the discussion but did not come.