I am voting for Howard Wiggs for Mayor of Lakeland and Here is Why.
(For me, it’s not about popularity… it’s about mindset)
If you know anything about me, you’ll know that I am someone who tries NOT to take sides. I am someone who looks for ways for everyone to win. But we all know that’s not possible in an election. And it’s important to me that I share my story because I think it’s one that many people can relate to. I believe, because of my experience as an unknown – trying to find my place in Lakeland, that’s it is important that other unknown, but talented, passionate people with great ideas and a willingness to contribute to the community in whatever way they can – find a more open, welcoming business environment than the one I experienced in 2009 when I started my local business.
As an outsider, it took a lot of work – no one should have to work as hard just to have a voice in the community.
When you have ideas, where do you go? Who will listen? The result of an open, welcoming leadership team is an open, welcoming community. As it is, if you ask anyone who has opened a business in Lakeland on their own, without having the right connections, they will tell you about their uphill battle. Invariably, there are always situations that might make things difficult for some business owners as they are trying to open their doors in a new location. However, when you hear the same frustrated story over and over again, it’s time to start connecting the dots, and acknowledge there is a problem. Everyone, regardless of whether or not they have the right last name, or connections who will make the necessary introductions, deserves the same, fair treatment as everyone else. If it’s who you know that makes it possible to get a business opened, eventually, we won’t have anyone willing to take on that burden. This is something that starts in City Hall. We need leaders who embrace open government, and support and encourage a culture of openness and transparency. Period. Currently, that doesn’t exist.
I believe that Howard Wiggs represents the right mindset that we need to move us away from stagnation and accepting things because, “it’s just the way they are.” I want a city government that listens. A culture that embraces new ideas and looks for ways to make them work, before simply saying that they won’t. An environment that welcomes collaboration by actually embracing the concept and offering opportunities that will encourage new ideas, even from outsiders. I want to live in a city that other community leaders will look to as an example, and professionals, families, new businesses and young adults will want to call home.
I love Lakeland, because I have worked hard to find all the wonderful, hard-working passionate people who share similar ideas. But not everyone is going to be willing to work as hard as I have. We need to make it easier to discover all of the great things there are to love about Lakeland, and I believe Howard Wiggs is the person that will make that possible.
*DISCLAIMER: I have worked closely with Howard Wiggs throughout his campaign and was hired to offer professional services. This post was not a paid endorsement and only reflects my personal thoughts about my experiences as I worked diligently to build my business in Lakeland, as an outsider, and was not approved or requested by Howard Wiggs or anyone else within the campaign. These experiences and my hope that the business environment will change for others are the reasons I decided to become involved in this campaign.