City Commissioner-Elect Jack Porter Discusses Views on Police, Accountability, Status Quo

City Commissioner-Elect Jack Porter Discusses Views on Police, Accountability, Status Quo

City Commissioner-Elect Jack Porter appeared on Above the Fold with Tallahassee Reports Editor Steve Stewart on Tuesday. Porter narrowly avoided a run-off with incumbent City Commissioner Elaine Bryant in the City Commission Seat 1 race, and she will take office in November.

Throughout the race, Porter was viewed as a progressive candidate. She said that to her, being “progressive” means challenging the status quo and making decisions based on the public interest.

She said she thinks she performed well in northeast Tallahassee, where voters are viewed as more moderate, because people were looking for change.

“I think people wanted something different,” she said. “I think people wanted change. I talked a lot about accountability and transparency and the things that weren’t working and involving public comment. And I hope that I was able to earn people’s trust that I’m someone who’s going to listen to them and take their issues seriously.”

Porter said her first priority as City Commissioner will be to increase accountability—an idea that was central to her campaign. She also said the City needs to deal with COVID-19 and address public safety issues.

Specifically, she said she wants to improve how the commissioners are receiving public comments. Since the beginning of the pandemic, public comments have been submitted electronically via the City’s website.

“If it hasn’t been fixed already, I want to make sure that we’re getting public comment the way that we need to and that we haven’t been in the past couple of months since COVID started,” Porter said. “Not having the public at public hearings is just crazy.”

Later in the interview, Porter discussed current issues facing the City, including calls to “defund the police.”

“I think that we need to be funding law enforcement and the police to do what is their job to do and honestly what they want to do, investigating and responding to violent crime,” she said. “But, they don’t want to be social workers. I’ve spoken to them. They don’t want to be responsible for that, so I do think that there is a way where human services and other aspects of our culture and society and our government need to step up to carry that burden.”

Porter also gave her thoughts on how to address economic inequality. She said the commissioners need to have honest conversations about where the greatest need is.

“I think we start with investing where the needs are greatest, and that’s not just on the Southside; there are parts of the Northeast that don’t have sidewalks,” she said. “There’s a lot of need everywhere.”

The rest of the interview is available here.

10 Responses to "City Commissioner-Elect Jack Porter Discusses Views on Police, Accountability, Status Quo"

  1. “I think that we need to be funding law enforcement and the police to do what is their job to do”. Except her view is that “their job” is to only “investigate and respond to violent crime”; how ignorant. That’s the same DEFUND THE POLICE way of thinking without actually spouting the tag line, which I’m sure was not on accident.

    Law enforcement’s “job” is the prevention and detection of crime and the enforcement of the laws of the state. This new liberal view that law enforcement should only focus on certain aspects of the law or qualifying offenses (to reduce their interactions) is absurd and dangerous. Do you know how many wanted persons and bad people are picked up during the course of everyday interactions? A lot.

  2. Hopefully Porter will get ride of the BLM mural painted on Gaines Street. Not sure why the city of Tallahassee would allow our city streets to be used as public forum especially by a Marxist organisation with a goal of defunding the police.

  3. I voted for her..anything but the status quo at this point..I don’t agree with her on many things but she seems like a breath of fresh air who is actually trying to help the city instead of lining her If somehow Schack can make up the ground on Richardson in the next two months it would be an all new ball game on The City Commission

    1. Perhaps Schack should be talking with Jack. Even going so far as to mirror some of her talking points and outreach strategies. Effective is effective.

      Given the current make up of the City’s elected leadership, Schack’s biggest challenge/hurdle is proportionality of representation. He needs to get busy speaking with and reaching out to the “people” throughout our communities of color. The gatekeepers will never support him, but their are more actual voters than their are gatekeepers… always remember that.

  4. Well done.

    We may not agree with Porter on everything, but she will be much better than Bryant who was deeply tied in with the usual suspects, basically functioned as a rubber stamp for the mayor, and wouldn’t even take meetings with many people.

    Glad to have an energetic, independent voice on to bring some accountability and new ideas to the commission.

    1. Agreed… I don’t align with her every position, but then again, I don’t expect to align with everyone’s position on everything. If she walks the talk of an open mind and service to all, then she’s worthy of the chance to serve. Time, actions, and her votes will tell.

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