PAHOKEE–Pahokee City Commission candidate Sanquetta Cowan took questions at a Meet the Candidate forum held over Zoom on Feb. 18.
Cowan is running against Juan A. “Johnny” Gonzalez Jr in the group two race. Current Commissioners Felisia Hill and Benny Everett did not seek re-election.
Gonzalez did not participate in the Meet the Candidate forum on Feb. 18.
“I’m a woman of integrity,” began Cowan in her opening remarks. “I’m a lifelong advocate, servant, and volunteer, committed to serving my community here in Pahokee. I’m running for commissioner to be the spark to help galvanize this community.”
Cowan says affordable housing is needed to help jump start Pahokee’s economic development.
“Adequate housing creates communities,” she explained. “If we bring affordable housing that will draw people and families to Pahokee. If we want to bring businesses to our community we need to bring people. Businesses can’t run without people.”
In response to resident complaints about Pahokee’s infrastructure, Cowan said the city needs to ensure they have lobbyists in Washington D.C. to help lobby for infrastructure funds.
“Also we can look around the city ourselves to see what infrastructure projects we can do,” Cowan added. “Because when we talk about businesses coming to your city, they look at your infrastructure.”
One question submitted to the virtual forum asked what something positive the current city commissioners have done for Pahokee. Cowan responded that commissioners have done well in removing dilapidated buildings from the city.
“When I came back to Pahokee there were a lot of dilapidated buildings that had been sitting there for years,” Cowan explained. “The hospital was one of them, there for many years. They have torn that down. I would have done the same thing if I was a current commissioner, so I am very glad see those eyesores gone.”
In her closing statement, Cowan made the case to Pahokee residents that she was the right person for this position.
“I am committed,” concluded Cowan. “I had major surgery about three weeks ago. I’m not 100% healed, but I am committed and I am here tonight. I want the citizens to know that I am here to fight for Pahokee, the same way I’m fighting to get better. I have the ability to bring citizens together. We need to be on the same chapter, in the same book, on the same page and on the same line in order to move Pahokee forward.”