Our Priorities

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Our Priorities2020-10-27T13:44:42+00:00


The FAIR approach to policing in Fort Myers

Funding – Invest in training to improve investigative techniques and incorporate policing best practices
Accurate – Collect empirical data on policing, to examine and improve law enforcement practices
Impartial – Raise awareness of implicit bias within policing
Results – Implement improvements based on an objective analysis of our police department

Invest in additional services and improved training for the FMPD so that our officers can conduct unbiased,
thorough investigations grounded in fact-finding and informed decision-making. These investments will improve
the quality of life and the safety of our community.

  • Funding
    • Invest in training to improve investigative techniques
    • Prepare law enforcement officers to more effectively collect evidence and
      interview witnesses.
    • Improve cooperation and pooling of resources among local agencies to fund
      specialized training in best practices for interviewing techniques and evidence
    • Normalize ongoing training and professional growth. All officers must follow the
      best practice of regular professional development.
  •  Accurate
    • Collect data on policing practices
    • Create an empirical picture of bias at work. The San Jose Police Department had
      their data regarding pedestrian stops analyzed. The data revealed that young
      men of color were disproportionately stopped. This led officers to evaluate the
      significant impact their biases had on the “culture” of equitable treatment.
    • Proving publicly accessible data will help present policing information in a
      manner that increases the transparency of the Fort Myers Police Department and
      improves the community and police relationship.
  •  Impartial
    • Raise awareness of implicit bias among police leaders and officers
    • Recognize that no single policy can stop the influence of implicit bias during
      decisions that occur at multiple points in the justice system.
    • Initiate positive change by giving all personnel a broad understanding of implicit
      bias and how to recognize it in ourselves.
    • Use Implicit Association Tests, as one mechanism to raise awareness of bias.
      IATs measure the thoughts and feelings outside of conscious awareness and
      control. The goal is to inform individuals about hidden biases
    • Trauma-Informed Approach and Cultural Competence in Community Policing
    • Officers need to take into account the human factors that impact people’s
      decision making when they are in crisis.
    • Recognize the signs of traumatized individuals so officers can de-escalate
      situations and fully integrate knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures,
      and practices.
  • Results
    • Transform the conversation between police and the community
    • Cultivate a diverse workforce, preferably hiring from within the community, and
      thus send a message of equality and inclusion to the community. Foster contact
      among groups within the department to facilitate dialogue and positive, inclusive
    • Use community policing to encourage officers to build relationships with the
      people in the neighborhood. Give residents and businesses greater reasons to
      trust that the police have everything they need to keep our city safe and to make
      Fort Myers a city to invest in.


More opportunity brings less crime

Reducing crime will be one of my main objectives during my term as your mayor. Fort Myers currently has a higher crime rate than 80% of cities and towns of comparable or larger scale – higher, on average, than communities with similar populations. We ALL deserve to live in a safe and thriving community. Why is crime such an issue for our community, for our city? To find a solution we must answer that question.

A major focus of my time in office will be working to provide Returning Citizens opportunities for a better life, to earn a living wage, to have a place they can call home, and become productive citizens. This approach has proven time and again that it is effective in lowering crime rates, lowering the rate of recidivism, and saving overall tax dollars.

While I might not agree with everything that comes out of the White House these days – I am in strong agreement with the
“Return on Investments in Recidivism Reducing Programs”.

  • Evaluate existing incentives for re-entry program participation and develop improvements that tie successful program completion to incentives while incarcerated.
  • Evaluate and implement evidence-based recidivism reduction and re-entry programs to promote the successful re-entry of Federal inmates.
  • Ensure all inmates have access to recidivism reduction programs that meet their needs by enhancing tools to reduce existing risk.

I will work tirelessly to implement similar initiatives and reforms in our city, reforms that are actually proven to work. We will rethink how we reduce crime, and we will do it with people in mind, while leaving partisanship OUT. We MUST find compassion and understanding if we truly want to heal our city.


For the working-class of Fort Myers

The families that support Fort Myers are the working class. They are devastated by the rampant rising costs of housing and rent. They are working long hours for low wages, barely able to make rent at the end of the month – I hear you and I see you. Exacerbating the situation, our local elected officials blatantly prioritize the needs of big developers over the needs of the community; without any effort to provide solutions or balance.

Economic growth in Fort Myers is necessary, simultaneously, it is vital that we hold on to our humanity in the process. We must remember that behind every foreclosure is a family. Entire neighborhoods are purchased by developers only concerned with profit – not stabilizing communities. Federal government dollars allotted for distressed neighborhoods are dispersed at the discretion of politicians, typically ignoring the communities and areas that need it most. To call this corruption would be an understatement, I am going to just call it a travesty. A travesty because it has been you, your family, your neighbor, the people, that have suffered at the hands of these actions.

As your mayor, I look forward to bringing developers to the table with Fort Myers’ elected officials to address reigning in overdevelopment that has devastated families throughout our community, by driving up the cost of rent and leaving people out on the streets. Together, we will work to identify ways to provide affordable housing options for every member of our community.

I will advocate for tax incentives to businesses and developments that provide housing discounts to teachers and other community support professionals. Through public and private collaboration, we will raise funds to fight displacement, ensuring that Fort Myers has quality, safe, affordable housing for ALL communities. Together, we will make it clear that the City of Fort Myers officials now work for the people, ALL of the people.


We must protect our city

Fort Myers is the commercial center of Lee County and the gateway to the region. Southwest Florida’s entire economy relies heavily on a clean and safe environment which reflects our health and quality of life. We MUST protect it. It is time to ACT and find a solution to the issues of toxic sludge, brown water, pollutants, and other toxicities that families are being exposed to.

My campaign for mayor is people-powered, so I will not be taking any contributions from environmentally abusive industries. Businesses are polluting without regard for communities like ours and it is our health, our economy, our livelihoods, and childrens’ well-being that suffer the consequences.
I will seek advice to learn from local organizations that have been leading on these issues such as Calusa Water Keepers, Calusa Nature Center, and Captains for Clean Water.

I will ensure our city begins to do its part as well. We will take responsibility and the ensuing action for cleaning up our city.


Accountable hiring standards

Tourism, development, retirees, and snowbirds have always been recognized as the staples of our economy; oftentimes forgetting the working class that make it all function. Construction workers, health care workers, service industry workers, retail workers, etc. are often left out of plans. We must now do right by them. Inclusion of ALL, regardless of race or socioeconomic status, will strengthen our city.

The growth is happening. It is beautiful, important, and inevitable. However, we do not have to be irresponsible when it comes to the growth of our city. Moving forward, when it comes to decisions of growth we must ensure that it is done in a responsible manner, and with the people in mind.

I will require accountable hiring standards for publicly funded projects so that jobs reach the communities that need them the most, opportunities are made available for minority and women owned businesses, and we will ensure that every job resulting from public investment pays a living wage. We will re-invest in our small businesses, partner with the ‘right’ corporations to build and give back, and make the City of Fort Myers a city all other cities will want to imitate.


We can’t wait until the next election to push for the 21st-century solutions we need.

We are in the midst of the greatest economic transformation in the history of our country. Our institutions are years behind the curve, and normal people are getting left behind. That is why we must fundamentally re-shift the way we value life and work, and invest in our communities now.
Many  are working 9-5 to survive and some are even working second, and side jobs to keep the roof over their heads. Over 40% of Fort Myers residents are working poor and nearly half of city residents cannot afford an unexpected $500 bill. We need to invest in our people first. It’s past the time of working against each other and it’s time to bring our city together. The future is not left or right, it’s forward.

With the support of Humanity Forward and Andrew Yang I will work to move Fort Myers in a New Direction by piloting a Guaranteed Income Project to assist families in need. A guaranteed income is a monthly, cash payment given directly to individuals. It is unconditional, with no strings attached and no work requirements. A guaranteed income is meant to supplement, rather than replace, the existing social safety net and can be a tool for racial and gender equity.

There’s a number of guaranteed income pilots happening all across the country. In Stockton, Mayor Michael D. Tubbs has been giving 125 residents $500 per month, since February 2019. In Jackson, Mississippi, Springboard to Opportunities & the Magnolia Mothers Trust are giving $1000 per month to Black mothers. In addition, Chicago, Newark, and Atlanta have formed task forces exploring the feasibility of guaranteed income pilots, and Milwaukee’s city council has directed the creation of a pilot.

More cash in people’s pockets keeps families financially secure and stimulates the local economy. Especially in the wake of COVID-19 and the ensuing recession, a guaranteed income will stimulate spending on Main Street and generate much-needed state and local revenue to drive the economic recovery across the country.

 “I am now convinced that the simplest approach will prove to be the most effective — the solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income.” –Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr ., 1967


EVERYONE will have a seat at our table

Our city under my leadership will be a city for every person, from every walk of life. I will strive to build a city that is inclusive of all of its people. That is why we must recognize and support our LGBTQ+ community, specifically, those who have been targeted and discriminated against. Implementation of non-discrimination practices will be necessary. Outreach and support of events, like PRIDE, within our city shall be commonplace.

We must also make inroads into our black and Hispanic communities; lift people up, not tear them down; bring them in, not deepen the divide. EVERYONE will have a seat at our table. To rebuild trust within these communities will be a monumental task but I intend to be a monumental Mayor.


Transparency within City Government

Jacquelyn McMiller is committed to transparency within city government.

We MUST ensure that the agenda for each city council meeting is published timely, with enough notice to the public, and with complete details of all of the topics that will be discussed.

Currently, agendas for City Council Meetings are only being released a few days prior to the meeting and too often, they are devoid of other important details. Making the agenda available on the city website will allow the citizens whom they represent the opportunity to be heard on issues that matter to them.


Empowering people and places with art

Public Arts initiatives will assist in creating economic opportunities for local artists and their communities to thrive. Using art to reclaim neglected public spaces, we will empower marginalized members of our communities to create brave places of connection. Through the Arts we will support a culture of inclusivity and encourage neighborly relations by fostering diverse connections between artists and lovers of art.

Led by established community art organizations, these initiatives will also serve to provide a mentoring ground for up and coming artists from Fort Myers and give them the tools they need to turn their talents into sustainable livelihoods. This program could eventually be expanded beyond public spaces to include a Business & The Arts component, building bridges between City Artists and local business owners to beautify commercial spaces and provide ongoing income opportunities for both City Artists and the community.

This initiative will require the creation of a Public Arts Committee, composed of established local artists and arts professionals, to oversee and approve public art works proposals, dispense artist grants, and other tasks as needed to serve this community reinvestment project.


Addressing the needs of our community

Supporting and addressing the needs of our community is a top priority. We must invest in our infrastructure by providing sidewalks and streetlights to provide sufficient lighting and safety for our children.

We will reassess the city budget to allocate funds for community programs that will invest in our childrens’ future, provide mental health support, and lay the foundation for a city we can all be proud of. It is time that we focus on community support, and not just developer support. We must invest in ALL of our people.


A hungry child, a hurt child, a scared child will struggle to learn

A child’s zip code should not determine their future! Children growing up in working class families and in impoverished conditions are disadvantaged when it comes to education. We must support our children by reducing the stresses of everyday life. A hungry child, a hurt child, a scared child will struggle to learn. These children are starting from behind on Day One.

It is vital that we take a holistic approach when it comes to improving our education system. We must address the issues of poverty and low wages that force parents to work multiple jobs, leaving little time for parents to support a child’s learning. We must break down the mentality that success is only for the privileged.

We must come together as a community, as a city and take pride in our schools. The greatest schools are those where every stakeholder is invested, and committed to seeing success. I will work hand in hand with our School District to focus on growth, to support our educators, and every child within our schools. Together we will build successful learning communities within our city.

“Children are our Future”. To me, that means it’s time that we start investing properly in this future, everyone claims their role, and we all take part in this successful journey.


We must help those in need

Working class people throughout our city are struggling. Mothers and fathers are working two jobs, while still not earning enough money to pay utilities and ever increasing rent. Parents are forced to choose between visits to the pediatrician or keeping food on the table.

We must protect families from the skyrocketing cost of rent, ensure a living wage for our workers, and through support of small businesses and the ‘right’ corporations, help to produce good quality jobs for our city.

Poverty is a cruel and widespread issue that with compassion and innovation we can begin to address. It must be treated with dignity. At its core, when we delve deep enough, we find poverty as the fuel to the fire. I will reach out to the many community organizations already doing the work to learn how our city, under new leadership, can aid in this effort. One city may not be able to end poverty across the world, but we can certainly strive to end it here.


Their selfless sacrifice has made the world a better place

We will forever be indebted to the men and women who serve in our military. They make unimaginable sacrifices to protect us, our way of life, and defend our freedom. They have made the United States the great country that it is today. We must do everything to support our men and women of uniform. Their selfless sacrifice has made the world a better place.

In addition to ensuring that veterans and their families have access to resources like quality health and education, I will support vital programs that help our veterans find employment. Far too many of our service members are homeless or struggling to make ends meet. Our veterans deserve better. I will work to strengthen job training programs to help find quality job opportunities, as well as encourage more businesses to hire unemployed, underemployed, and disabled veterans.


More town halls, more dialogue, more conversation, more discourse

It is time to revolutionize the Office of Mayor of Fort Myers, to bring it into the new age of technology, transparency, and accessibility. Opening it up with inclusiveness for all residents via new technologies so we can learn from each other throughout my term – more town halls, more dialogue, more conversation, more discourse, and more action!

The government should work FOR the people. Only 13 percent of voters in the city voted in the last Mayoral Election. It falls upon leadership to engage the community and bring the people back to the table

Election Day
November 3rd, 2020


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From the Fort Myers News-Press

If elected, Jacquelyn McMiller would be the first black woman to lead the city. – Melissa Montoya Fort Myers News-Press


From the Fort Myers News-Press

If elected, Jacquelyn McMiller would be the first black woman to lead the city. – Melissa Montoya Fort Myers News-Press

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