Tyra Edwards earned her nickname “Ty Loudd” for being a prominent voice of District 1. Now she wants to take that voice to the City Commission.
“It’s just what our people want to be,” she said. “They want to be loud, and so I’m loud.”
The 47-year-old single mother of two said she’s lived in Gainesville for the past 25 years.
In 2014, Edwards launched “Loudd Magazine,” an online publication about local musicians because she wanted to give them more media exposure, she said. She also held a series of forums called “Voices from the Trenches,” where District 1 residents gathered to talk about the state of their community.
Edwards feels that she would be the best representative of her district because she personally knows the struggles her community faces.
“I mirror the lives of the people who I am trying to help,” she said.
If elected, Edwards hopes to bring affordable housing, promote small businesses and create resource centers for residents to better themselves, she said. The centers would offer programs for adults to learn life skills as well as recreational programs to keep children engaged and off the streets.
Repairing the tense relationship between the District 1 residents and law enforcement is also a priority, Edwards said.
“We want the police to have a presence in our neighborhood not only when it’s time to arrest,” she said.
Edwards has dealt with criminal charges herself. In 2007, she was charged with unknowingly driving with a suspended license, according to court records. The case was resolved, and Edwards said she isn’t worried about the charge affecting her campaign.
Jessica Martini, Edwards’ campaign manager, believes Edwards is the only candidate who can bring about the radical change District 1 needs.
“Ty comes at it from a very different angle,” Martini said. “She’s not looking at it like a politician.”