Spotlight on first ward candidate Daniel Gordon

Daniel

Daniel

Quick Facts

Contact

Cell: 419-450-2164

Email: [email protected]

Bio:

1) B.A. in Political Science & Philosophy, BGSU

2) M.P.A. in Politics & Public Policy, BGSU

3) Member of the national Young Elected Officials Network

4) Outside Council, I manage the office of Inner Peace Homes, Inc., a local nonprofit agency providing foster care and adoption services to northwest Ohio

Vision:

A Bowling Green where every person, no matter their background, feels safe and valued, lives in a strong and vibrant neighborhood, and is free to live their life as they choose.

Platform:

1) Continue working to develop policies and initiatives that secure and sustain greater social and economic equity and justice.

2) Continue defending marginalized communities from the threat of bigotry, discrimination, and hate crimes.

3) Ensure strong implementation of the Community Action Plan to revitalize our neighborhoods.

4) Create and expand access to living-wage jobs.

5) Develop full-fledged bike lanes.

6) Keep pushing BG to use 100% renewable energy.

7) Work on additional policies and programs to make BG even more environmentally sustainable (e.g., adopt a climate action plan, a sustainability commission, and recycling for rentals).

Which at-large candidates will you vote for and why?

I’m going to be supporting Sandy Rowland and Holly Cipriani. Sandy has been a defender of everyone in town. She has stood up time and time again to reaffirm that were a community that’s supposed to be for everybody. She’s had my back when I have tried to propose or shape legislation to stand with marginalized communities, particularly the Muslim and immigrant communities.

And Holly and I are good friends and we go back a number of years, and she would add so much to the team on council. First of all, Holly makes some additions in terms of representation because we really have an inequity in town where we only have one woman on city council despite the fact that there are more women in town than men. Holly would help make council more diverse in that aspect as well as age because most folks on council are above the age of 50. So if we’re going to have a really balanced city government we need to have balanced representation. Holly will help us move there. She is very intelligent, she is very competent, she knows her stuff, she has the academic training and experience with local economic development and in the non-profit sector. To take her ideals and flush them out as a member of city government, she will be able to help keep us moving in the direction that we’re aiming for when it comes to things like improving housing, revamping our transportation system and standing up for everybody in town.

What are your thoughts on the BG charter amendment?

I have friends who are organizing this amendment, and I really wanted to be there with them. But issues were raised, I tried to have this reviewed by some outside folks in the legal community, and they had some reservations about the language. The spirit of the amendment is good, but the language isn’t what we need to get us there. So what I am proposing is that, like we did four years ago, we had a similar kind of issue, we come back together to work out an alternative piece of legislation, probably as an ordinance. To accomplish the main goals of the proposed amendment which is to establish our rights to clean air, clean water and do what we can to protect ourselves from harmful projects like the nexus pipeline. The charter is not any stronger legally than an ordinance. Truthfully as a legislator, I’m bothered by the idea that if we think somethings important we have to put it in the charter because that diminishes the importance of other legislation that we have passed. I can’t fully support it, but I think we need to go back to the drawing board.

What are the implications of the tax levy renewal, and how do you intend to vote on it?

I strongly support the renewal levy to protect our children and elderly residents. Wood county is seen a skyrocketing amount of cases in abuse that is affecting kids and the elderly. It’s terrible and its made worse by the fact that Ohio ranks dead last when it comes to funding for programs that counter such abuse. We’re literally the worst among all states. And that’s horrifying to believe. Outside of council I manage the office of a foster care adoption agency, so I see it directly the results of this dynamic we have here, and so I strongly support the levy and I hope everyone in town can as well because its vitally needed. The interesting thing with this levy is that, unlike most other levies around the state for similar programs, they’re only going to spend as much as they need. So through the renewal if they generate more revenue than they need, they’re not going to spend that. It shows folks we’re making good use of their money.

Thoughts on the school bond issue?

I support the bond issue. This is one of those issues in town that has also been very complicated for folks, and folks are also strapped for money so I understand there are some folks who don’t think they can afford it. But we really need this bond issue to go through in order to address fundamental issues of inequity in our school system. For decades we had a system where, depending on where they went to school in BG, students had more or fewer resources than kids in other schools in BG, and that’s not right.

What is your stance on State Issues 1 and 2?

So the state issues in some ways are even more complicated than the local ones, so I think it’s good that we’re asking these questions because when I’m not sure of things, and I’m living and breathing these types of things day in and day out, I can’t imagine what the average person feels like. I’ll be completely honest with you, when it comes to Issue 1, I’m still researching because I’m not sure of all the particulars myself.

Issue 2 is a little clearer in my mind. I’ve heard good arguments on both sides, but what it comes down to is if you’re concerned about prescription drug costs, my understanding is that this proposal is being opposed by the pharmaceutical companies themselves. That’s probably a good indicator that for the average person this is something you’ll want to support. There is a lot of money being spent on the campaign against issue two, and the campaign for Issue 2 is not very well funded. It is very complicated, so I encourage people to do their research the best they can.

What is the importance of BGSU students coming out to vote?

It can be difficult to get students to understand the impact and power they can have on affecting the elections in Bowling Green. One of the easiest ways to try and illustrate this is by talking about the non-discrimination ordinances that we passed years ago here in BG, and this is a story every student should know because I think it’s a really cool story. Back in 2009 and 2010 we passed ordinances to protect the LGBTQ community against discrimination in housing, employment and education. And there were some people in town who didn’t like that council did this, and so they put it on the ballot as a referendum and tried to repeal it at the ballot box. The referendum failed, but here’s the interesting thing, the margin of difference between the yes votes and the no votes was so small that the only reason why we kept those laws on the books is because enough BGSU students came out to vote. Students are literally responsible for keeping discrimination against the LGBTQ community out of BG. That’s the impact students can have.

How do you think you stack up against your opponent?

We are confident we are going to achieve a win on Nov. 7. There is a reason why I have yet to lose an election and that is because of the work of my wonderful teams past and present, and the fact that we have a great vision for BG. We have a vision for BG as a place that works for everybody. The fact that you live in one neighborhood means you should have the same quality of life as someone living on a different neighborhood. You should be equally valued, respected, and feel safe no matter your background, no matter how you look, no matter your age, no matter your gender. My opponent is running on a very exclusionary message if you look at his platform, that goes against the core of who we are as BG residents, that doesn’t represent who we are, and is not in keeping with our shared values. And so we’re fighting to keep those shared values moving forward.

For the past few years we have been able to make great progress on issues that people care about, particularly BGSU students. So if you care about housing, we finally drafted a plan to reverse decades of government neglect of housing on the east side of town, and this is an issue that affects current residents and student residents. So we’re trying to create a plan where students don’t have horror stories like where there were 13 fire code violations in one house. That should not happen here. We’re trying to come up with a transportation system that works for everybody, because not everyone can necessarily afford a car, necessarily want a car, and we want to do it in a way that is going to fight climate change at a local level. And that’s why we’re pushing for bike lanes and expanding public transit options.