Good Morning Everyone!
I’m happy to continue our interview series for the 2014 election cycle with Derrick “Shine” Wallace, Candidate for Orange County Commission District 6. Incumbent Tiffany Moore-Russell is termed out so the next leader for the District will be a new face on the board.
We spoke about several issues affecting the County and District 6 specifically. Here is what he had to say.
FT: Mr. Wallace, thanks for taking the time to interview. You’ve been on
the campaign trail for a while now, what would say the voters are most
Derrick Wallace: Thank you for an opportunity to share my platform, thoughts, and my campaign action-plans, to make District 6, a great place to live and raise a family.
Orange County, like many others counties and cities across the U.S., is beginning to emerge from the
“Great Recession”. Ongoing investment in major projects such as the Dr. Phillips Center for the
Performing Arts, SunRail, Soccer Stadium and Lake Nona Medical Center suggest some improvement in economic conditions; however, far too many unemployed workers and every day people have not benefited from the recent economic recovery. and remain jobless and homeless. The voters in District 6 have shared the following concerns with me. Creating jobs and fostering economic development, providing greater educational opportunities, enhancing safety and security, affordable housing, and improving transportation infrastructure.
FT: Now you’ve said “For too long, we’ve allowed the fate of our neighborhoods to be determined by big out of state companies who burden us with their demands, offering minimum wage jobs as compensation” Could you elaborate? And tell us what you would do if elected?
Derrick Wallace: If elected, I will serve as the voice for those who have been marginalized and feel excluded. The future of District 6 depends on strong leadership to help residents get better paying jobs, training and better access to County government. I would vote favorably for the projects that are in the best interest of the orange county community, which includes District 6. I firmly believe that now is the time to ‘Build a strong community for orange county families’. Now is the time to break with “business as usual” for the residents of District 6 and build a community of opportunity for all. Now is the time for everyone to engage on the issues and work together in a cooperative manner to find a positive way forward – that’s true democracy.
FT: It seems the big Commission vote last year was the venues package that included funding to continue construction on the performing arts center, Citrus Bowl renovations, and money for the new MLS Soccer Stadium. What are your thoughts? And how would you have voted.
Derrick Wallace: I would have voted yes with stipulations, because certain ills are created by these venues. There are well over 1 million residents in Orange County and there are more than 57 million visitors each year. Tourist Development Tax (TDT) is part of the reason the City and the County are able to pay for the $94.5 million dollar venue package. I feel money should have been included to address some of the major issues that happen to be in District 6. All the money that was put in the deal was not TDT Funds. . There are basic social problems all around these venues, and the conditions in the surrounding communities are deplorable. The City and the MLS Soccer Organization put millions into the deal that had no restrictions. Funds could have been provided for Job training, Housing, and Homeless, which could be used to help District 6. I will call these impact dollars. The decision could have been made to build it someplace else, therefore no impact to the District 6 area. The plights of the people in District 6, as well as other districts, are invisible until a developer wants their land.
FT: You’re running in a crowded field. Why should District 6 voters pick you?
Derrick Wallace: Voters should vote for me, because I bring 30 years of proven leadership, business success, and the ability to bring the diverse elements in the community together. There is no other candidate who will work as hard as I will work. I love this community and I understand the needs of the community! My family, friends and I actually live in District 6. As a matter of fact, I have lived in District 6 all my life. Residents feel comfortable talking to me, and I am committed to making a difference. I will be their voice and make sure it is heard.
FT: As always, I like to end things on a positive note. What is something the voters might not know about you or your campaign?
Derrick Wallace: It is pretty well known that I am a successful businessman. For over 30 years, I have provided jobs and economic development opportunities to people in and out of District 6. I graduated from Jones High and FAMU (Magna Cum Laude) and my high school nickname is “Shine”. Perhaps the most important thing that voters should know is that I have a passion for this community and its people. I have lived my entire life in this district 6. As a result, I have been able to build a grassroot campaign, involving many of the residents of the district. I qualified by petitions in September, 2013. The use of technology is being maximized to enhance our campaign’s efforts. We even have our own Apple and Android mobile Apps. I am also so committed to the district that I have put my own funding into the campaign, which ensures that I am not obligated to any special interest, but only to the citizens of District 6.
I’d like to thank Mr. Wallace for interviewing. This fall he’ll be running against Commission Aide Roberta Walton (her interview HERE), Metro Plan Director Virginia Whittington (her interview HERE), Homer Hartage, and Victoria Siplin. I’ve invited all of the candidates in every race to interview with FPFT. If you’re running, I’d love to talk to you!