My ‘field trip’ to the gubernatorial inauguration

BY QUANITA MAY
DAYTONA BEACH CITY COMMISSIONER ZONE 3

Going to Tallahassee was an unexpected opportunity. I decided to go because I am known for encouraging clients I coach to see the world differently, but to also experience the differences.

I always say that to make big changes requires risk. I managed to complete a few city meetings before leaving. I then closed my health and wellness business for two days, rescheduled my clients, packed my bag, and hit the road.

I had never been to the state capital. I found a hotel at the last moment and depended on my phone to tell me how to get there. I just knew that I was going to have an adventure!

Saw FSU, FAMU

Upon arriving in the city of Tallahassee, I was struck by the moss-covered trees, hilly landscape, and well-lit streets. I was staying across from Florida State University, a short jog from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. I used my exercise time as a way to explore both campuses.

Having two schools in one city definitely contributes to the economy. I reminded myself that Daytona Beach and its surrounding areas had more than two schools.

It was also interesting that the number of restaurants that populated the city were too many to count. These were not franchises; they were independently owned facilities. And after 11 p.m., the area was well-lit, and traffic was moving about.

Inauguration on Tuesday

The next day, I took a run through the schools and eventually found my way to the steps of the Capitol buildings for the inauguration ceremony. Lots of law enforcement and media were present. The swearing-in was well-orchestrated and previous legislators like Jennifer Carroll were in attendance.

Then it was off to Whole Foods in Tallahassee. Travel is no reason to neglect proper nutrition!

The Tallahassee environment was so pleasant that I chose to do a second sightseeing tour Tuesday afternoon, then it was off to the Inaugural Ball.

The decor, people, music, and atmosphere were celebratory, collegial, and festive. I shook hands with our Volusia County state legislators, including Rep. Elizabeth Fetterhoff, Rep. Tom Leek and Rep. Paul Renner. I also met Rep. James Bush III of Miami and Sen. Darrell Rouson of St. Petersburg.

After speaking to them and observing the room, I realized that being a city commissioner meant that I had the ability to address the things that matter most to the everyday person…things like being able to cross the street safely because of functioning traffic lights, trash being picked up, street lights being turned on, improving the roads and sidewalks, local jobs, and trying to improve the health and welfare of the people I see every day.

After saying “Hello” to two people I recognized, it was bedtime for me.

Back to Daytona Beach

As I was driving home on Wednesday, I reflected on how lucky we are to live in a country where a peaceful transition of power is possible. I also marveled at the idea that citizens are one layer away from getting what they want. All they have to do is reach out to their local commissioners and let us work as advocates for both residents and our local government.

All things are possible. And I believe that Volusia County’s legislative delegation will work in our best interests in Tallahassee.

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