When Glorious withdrew from the race for Mayor, she received calls from every top candidate asking her to support their campaign. I fielded most of those calls for her as her time and energy is indeed currently focused on her very ill mother and council duties. Her response to all those who asked for her endorsement was that this was something she would have to give deep thought to and she has done just that.
Her decision to endorse Mike Hogan is based upon one thing and one thing only and that is where he stands on current issues and whether or not he will be flexible in addressing those issues. I should add that no candidate has the same platform and views as Glorious did. So she focused on issues that a Mayor can directly influence and where they fell in her own view of the challenges this city currently faces.
The top and most pressing issue is the cities financial woes and they are many. Hogan has said he will take a very serious and indepth look at our budget and how our tax dollars are spent. He pledged to not raise taxes during his term should he be elected to office. While some would argue that it will be impossible to go forward without new taxes, Glorious knows that there is much that should be investigated in our budgeting before an administration would ever go to the people and ask for more money. Will new taxes be needed in the future? That is entirely possible, but first a very serious hard rework of our budget is needed. Where are additional revenue streams that are untapped, what do we spend on with little to no return for the people and innumerable other questions behind these, all to do with finances.
A second factor that played into this decision was Hogans willingness to approach pension reform fairly and not demonize our first responders in the process. Both she and I feel that the efforts to throw our first responders, police and firefighters under the bus in the name of pension reform was and is uncalled for. A review of past financial behaviors on behalf of this city clearly shows our current problems are a result of innumerable factors from past deals brokered to the current national and state economic situation.
From an outside position many folks will wonder why Glorious has made this decision. Most of those folks however are not privy to the information, facts and personal experiences of Councilwoman Johnson. She has been deeply involved in the legislative processes of this city over the last 7 plus years and as such has a different view and perspective of what is going on in this city behind closed doors than many others do. Those experiences have fed into her decision to support Hogan.
Did religious views play a part in her choice? Simply put, No. Glorious does not see public service as a pulpit for personal religious beliefs. She is interested only in fair governance. Does she believe in the individual rights of people to embrace their own lifestyles? She absolutely does. Does she support the Ethics office? You bet she does. Does she feel inclusion is needed for minorites? Absolutely and she believes she can influence that positively in the Hogan campaign. Are questions about gay lifestyles or womens choices a measure for local politcal races, especially the office of Mayor? No. The focus is on a clean running, inclusive, transparent administration. One not horribly indebted to special interests. Does every candidate have politcal connections to groups who influence power and choices? Yes, all the leading candidates have what could be considered baggage.
Finally, Glorious is an independent minded individual who readily crosses all boundaries, be they party, race or religion. That is what makes her Glorious Johnson. For the last time and for the record, Glorious did not change parties for a poltical run. I know that to be a fact. Her decision had to do with the basic foundations of her personal beliefs. When it comes to issues like finances, she is definately a conservative who has no problem with expenditures for culture, charity or education. She is also a serious proponent of downtown and transportation as most on this board should know. It was through her efforts that a good many connections to Metrojacksonville players and city agencies were brought. However, we cannot do any of those things without having a serious handle on our finances and right now, of all the candidates, she believes Hogan has the best team to do that.