Allen said she envisions Jacksonville transforming into a city “for all people” if she were mayor. She said her motivation is to give Jacksonville an opportunity to “elect someone who has a vision that incorporates what’s good for all of the people of Jacksonville and not just the affluent few.”
Allen said people who are funding her opponents’ campaigns are pulling the strings behind the scenes. She said this is not the case for her as an independent candidate. “I don’t have to deal with party agendas, only the agenda of the people of Jacksonville,” she said, adding, “I pay the cost to be the boss.”
Allen’s platform includes downtown development. Starting with the homeless population, she said the city must provide a place for them with pride and dignity and “simultaneously entertain entities to bring their businesses downtown.” Allen called this “retail therapy.”
Addressing the possibility of a tax increase to offset the city’s pension debt, Allen said, “The bottom line is I believe that the citizens of Jacksonville are going to ultimately be the ones to pay.” She said pension reform negotiations were done incorrectly and the proper stakeholders were not present. “It should have been actual firefighters, police officers and taxpayers,” she said.
As a small business owner--Allen is CEO of the Goodly Group general contractors--she says she believes some city policies concerning small businesses need to be rewritten to better benefit people.
As the only woman in the mayor’s race, Allen said what a woman brings to the table is an intuition that allows her to recognize the weaknesses and strengths in each part of town. “Different demographics have different strengths, different weaknesses and different needs,” she said.
When asked about whether she supports expanding legal protections to LGBT people under the city's human rights ordinance, she said no. “I believe that the will of the people in the city must be considered, not just some people,” she said, adding, “I don’t believe that personal choice is a right.” However, she said every child and person should be protected from bullying regardless of any “choices” they have made in life.
Allen said, unlike other candidates in the race, “I am not a part of the good-old-boys system,” adding, “I am not a part of that system, and that is why you should vote for me.”
You can listen to Melissa Ross's full interview with Omega Allen here.