Meet the Candidate: Jasmine Flores
Erie City Council
Currently Unemployed Doing Personal Caregiving
Jasmine Flores is running for Erie city council to represent the lower Eastside and minority women in her community. As an Erie native raised on the lower Eastside she has seen and deeply felt the impact of elected officials pushing their poorer residents out. Erie Community is under massive gentrification done at the expense of the lower Eastside. She will work to develop a renters/tenant union to protect renters against slumlords and unsafe living conditions since she is a renter in the city. She wants to develop policies to protect residential communities that live in opportunity zones and prioritize the community's needs over developers' needs.
Jasmine has been involved with the fight for $15 to raise the minimum wage but believes in family sustainable wages for all especially in the City that is home to the poorest zip code in the country. Jasmine has been a community organizer and activist since the fall of 2018 and is a dues-paying member of Erie County United. Jasmine ran for city council in the Primary of 2019, she was 187 votes short to move on to the General. Jasmine graduated from high school in 2012, she went on to get a diploma as a medical assistant in 2013 from Great Lakes Institute of Technology. She has worked in the caregiving field as a personal care attendant since 2016. Jasmine believes everyone has the right to vote and actively registers voters throughout her community.
Why are you running for Erie City Council?
I decided to run for city council to bring new people into local politics that feel they don't have a voice. I decided to run for city council a second time because my community is responding to the issues and topics I bring to the table for the multiracial working poor community in Erie.
What are your top three priorities you wish to work on if elected?
The top three priorities I hope to address and achieve are renters protections, equitable development, and family sustainable job development to uplift our city of Erie residents out of poverty so they can buy homes and contribute to our tax base in the city.
How would you be an advocate for key education initiatives such as the Erie County Community College, K-12 education, and early education as they relate to workforce development?
I am a big supporter of Erie City having a community college and have worked with local groups to gain support for the community college over the past few years. I continue to support quality education for children throughout their life. I ultimately believe in free college education for all and we need to get to that conversation sooner rather than later. Our youth is the future and they deserve and need every opportunity to lift themselves out of the life of poverty they were born into at no fault of their own.
How will you work to advocate for the modernization of public health infrastructure and encourage public/private partnerships to address deficiencies in our public health system?
As a person who is only 27 years of age we desperately need to modernize our public health infrastructure and encourage public-private partnerships to address deficiencies in our public health system. I personally would work or make connections with the proper people and channels to help advance our public health infrastructure and encourage these partnerships. We can not allow the last year of the pandemic to happen again the way it occurred. We all need to be proactive to make sure all our community members are taken care of, we are only as healthy as our sickest residents in their time of need.
According to TrackTheRecovery.org, Erie County is estimated to have lost over 28% of small businesses. How would you work to encourage financial stability within local and state governments without overburdening the small business community?
Our local small business community is what uplifts our community year-round. We need to see if the state would work with us to create a federally funded program to help us increase our minimum wage to help bring more money to our community without putting the local small business under an additional burden. The more funds our community has to spend in our community it multiplies and stays in our community.
Our community is expecting a total of $225 million or more in American Recovery Plan funds. As a community leader, how would you prioritize this funding?
Community needs need to be prioritized, the community is always left behind when it comes time to spend funds on what they generally need. Our community and state need to step up and make internet access a public utility and bring access to every resident in our city and state. I will not even be open to the idea of using these funds to balance any budget going forward. These funds need to help our community not help pay for past bad financial decisions.
Pittsburgh has seen success with tools such as Tax Increment Finance and Transit Revitalization Investment District to spur their City’s revitalization. Are you willing to make long-term investments in economic development?
I have worked with Erie County United to get Community Benefit agreements to help protect residents. I still support the community having protections in exchange for the city giving developers incentives and tax breaks. We need to make sure that if a developer decides to leave after the 10 years of LERTA they get stuck with the bill, not our community members. Our Erie city homeowners can not afford any type of conversation or thought of increasing our property taxes. We as elected officials need to make sure that any new development being discussed and started is not going to cost our community down the line.