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Saturday, May 28, 2022

Meet the District 3 Alachua County Commission candidates

Graphic of the District 3 Alachua County Commission Candidates

Joy Glanzer (left) and Anna Prizzia (right) are vying to represent District 3 on the Alachua County Commission.

Anna Prizzia is an alum of the Peace Corps and director of the UF Field and Fork Program, an initiative within the pantry that aims to solve food insecurity among students. She received her master’s degree in wildlife ecology and conservation at UF and moved to Alachua County in 2000.

“As soon as I put my toes in the springs, I knew I’d never leave,” Prizzia said.

Although she has no experience as an elected official, she said she has dealt with bureaucracy at the university. She has worked alongside local governments while at the UF Office of Sustainability and the Field and Fork Program. 

Prizzia said she feels economic and racial disparities are Alachua County’s greatest weakness. She said she would prioritize education, community development and natural resource conservation. 

If elected, she hopes to address climate change preparedness and water quality. She also said she would incentivize renewable energy in local businesses while also upgrading infrastructure to withstand increased heat and storms. 

During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commission responded quickly and listened to medical experts, Prizzia said. She cited the county’s face mask order and social distancing requirements.

However, Prizzia said the commission could have done a better job managing CARES Act funding. She said the application process was slow, which impacted businesses that needed money quickly. 

To Prizzia, the policy of continuing to expand westward while neglecting historically Black communities like East Gainesville is a huge problem.

Black lives matter, Prizzia said, and they are important to the unique character of the community.

Prizzia said she would bring a community development finance institution to Alachua County, which is a credit union that helps financing for poor and impoverished residents. The CDFI would be funded from deposits made by local government and businesses.

She believes this would support equitable development because it would be more likely to lend money to people with lower credit scores, and she hopes to use the program to finance community development projects.

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If elected, Prizzia said she would work with sheriff-elect Clovis Watson Jr. to focus on community policing and advocate to demilitarize the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office. 

Joy Glanzer was a Newberry City Commissioner until 2019 and has owned Glanzer Realty, a real estate agency since 2009. She said she has been a public servant since joining the parent-teacher association at her children’s school at 20 years old. 

While on the city commission, she said she advocated to move the Alachua County Fairgrounds to Newberry. She believes this success prompted a later decision to add a Newberry UF-Institute for Food and Agricultural Sciences extension facility. She also said she convinced all four male commissioners to budget for 8-week paid parental leave for city employees.

As a Newberry resident, she said she believes smaller municipalities are often rendered voiceless in Alachua County politics. That’s why she decided to run for county office. 

“I wanted to be a voice for the unheard,” she said. “Even though they have a smaller population, they still pay the same taxes as they do in Gainesville, and that’s why I feel they need a voice.”

COVID-19 recovery efforts, a living wage and the creation of more affordable housing are the most important issues to Glanzer. 

If elected, she said she would work with sheriff-elect Watson to create a task force to place addicts in drug rehabilitation programs instead of the Alachua County Jail. She started a Newberry Nar Anon chapter, a support group for the families of addicts. 

The county commission deserves praise for adapting to challenges posed by COVID-19, Glanzer said. The face mask order and business shutdowns were necessary for residents’ safety.

She said COVID-19 policies should be crafted using science-based evidence and listening to experts. The only measure she wouldn’t agree to would be checking that social distancing is followed on private property.

As a small business owner, Glanzer said she would relax regulations, lower taxes and start a task force with commissioners and business owners. She also said she supports a $15 an hour living wage so that residents can afford housing and rely less on social services.  

Like Prizzia, she pointed to inequities in Alachua County.

“You look on the east side of town and don’t you see the nice curbs, gutters, sidewalks and landscaping that you do on the west side,” Glanzer said. “You look at the east side schools and they don’t have new desks.”

Glanzer is an organizer withTruth and Reconciliation, an effort to recall Alachua County’s history of racial injustice and lynchings. She said she believes in the importance of bringing injustice to light.

“If you can’t understand the past, you can’t move forward,” she said.

Monetary contributions: $46,983.01

Total spending: $43,125.51

All information from Voter Focus.

Monetary Contributions: $18,480.00

Total spending: $14,024.54

All information from Voter Focus.

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Alan Halaly

Alan Halaly is the Metro desk editor and a second-year journalism major. He spent this past summer reporting for the Miami New Times and his first two semesters in college on The Alligator’s Metro desk covering city and county affairs. Above all, he’s passionate about bringing Gainesville’s hidden stories to UF’s campus. 

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