The first vote Sheryl Eddie’s youngest daughter casts will be for her mom. At least, Eddie hopes so.
After raising three girls in Gainesville and spending years working in nonprofits, Eddie, 48, is now running for the District 2 City Commission seat to help kids and families in her adopted home.
“I love this community, even though I’m a Seminole,” said the first-time candidate at a Feb. 11 fundraiser.
Eddie said in her 25 years as a resident, she’s noticed a disconnect between the commission and residents. She said she hopes to draw on her background in the communications field to bring civility back to the commission and focus on her district’s most vulnerable.
Improving bus service in areas beyond UF’s campus would help both families and students, she said.
“Just because the budget comes from UF doesn’t mean the students want to stay in that little circle,” Eddie said.
She said she also wants to push for more streetlights to help reduce criminal activity. As community outreach coordinator for the Early Learning Coalition of Alachua County, Eddie has seen poverty up close. She said simple things like lights will help those in need.
Longtime friend Lewis Mazzarella said Eddie’s city understanding makes her a natural for the commission.
“She’ll go out there and knock on doors and get people’s attention,” he said.
[A version of this story ran on page 5 on 3/10/2014]