City Commissioner Dianne Williams-Cox recently appeared on the Steve Stewart Show on RealTalk 93.3 to discuss her reelection campaign and the issues facing Tallahassee.
Williams-Cox, raised in Quincy, Florida, graduated from Florida A&M with a degree in Data Processing Technology and started a career in computer programming. After a short stint living and working in Brevard County, Williams-Cox and her husband moved to Tallahassee, where she worked for the state, and they raised their three sons.
Williams-Cox said her journey in community service began while her children were in school when she started working on the PTA, PTSO, and as the president of the football boosters. Later, Williams-Cox said that she noticed the inequities within different city areas and wanted to get further involved in those issues. “I don’t wear the title of a politician. I am a community servant that got elected,” she said.
Williams-Cox’s community service included time on the Leon County/Tallahassee Planning Commission.
“My time on the planning commission was a very educational opportunity. I learned how things are put together and happen here in the city,” Williams-Cox said.
Additionally, she said she learned to work with other commissioners, understand staff research and suggestions, and truly hear the community’s concerns.
When asked about her campaign, Williams-Cox said, “The folks I am talking to are really concerned about jobs, concerned about gun violence, and concerned about housing. “Those are the top three things I hear most about,” while on the campaign trail.
Williams-Cox added that higher-paying jobs will help children excel in school, as their parents will be home to provide better structure instead of working two or three jobs.
Stewart asked what about the report by Sheriff Walt McNeal, Anatomy of a Homicide, and how it relates to the current gun violence issue.
“What we learned is that we need to get our children and young people engaged in legitimate earnings and life skills, so their lives are not on the line because they are doing illegal things because that’s what they know to do,” she asserted. “To get the criminal intent out of their minds.”
Stewart also asked Williams-Cox if she still agreed with the vote approving the Blueprint economic dollars for the FSU and FAMU stadiums.
Williams-Cox responded, “When we are looking at economic development, we are looking at what will bring money to this city. Let’s face it, football sports is a religion in Tallahassee. Nothing else we do on a Saturday brings in that kind of economic development.”
In addition, she explained that every home game for both FSU and FAMU brings in dollars for the hospitality industry and local businesses.
Williams-Cox also explained why she voted to extend the urban service area on the Southside of Tallahassee to build more homes.
“I think it is important, historically, this kind of development has not happened on that side of town,” she said. “I am interested in development on the Southside being smart, not being all low rent. We need mixed-level housing.” On the other hand, “We need to make sure we do not allow gentrification…we have a delicate balance; we have to stay woke and stay smart.”
“There is always room for improvement, and I am open to that,” the commissioner stated when she was asked about issues regarding ethics concerning the commission.
A few years ago, Williams-Cox noted that the city “swallowed a whole set of ethics policies” that needs to settle so the city can see what works and what doesn’t before adding additional new policies.
Williams-Cox talked about why she wants to continue on the city commission.
“It’s not about what I’ve done; it’s about what we have done together in the City of Tallahassee. I want to continue to do this good work for those who want to work to move the city forward. I think we owe it to the next generation to make the City of Tallahassee the best that she can be. I want to be a part of making that happen.”