WUFT News

Profile: Scherwin Henry

By on March 8th, 2013


Leah Harding contributed audio reporting.

scherwin henryAs the only candidate for Gainesville mayor who has lived in the city all his life, Scherwin Henry said he has a different perspective than the other five men running for the spot.

The stark contrast in prosperity he sees has inspired him to get involved in local politics.

On his campaign website, Henry writes that Gainesville is a “tale of two cities,” one that has experienced economic growth and a high quality of life and one that has not.

“We have families that are hurting, that are living in poverty,” he said, “and we need to really be aware as to how we will bring about opportunity for the families that aren’t living the quality of life that’s touted in Gainesville.”

Henry, 60, served two terms as District 1 City Commissioner from 2006 to 2012. In office, he supported development projects including expanding Butler Plaza, adding a Wal-Mart, providing housing in the Porters Community and Lincoln Park subdivision and building a library, a senior center and a new police station.

His mayoral campaign centers on improving local government’s relationship with residents, diversifying the city’s economy and making transportation easier for everyone.

One of his first priorities is increasing the city’s accountability and accessibility to residents. He said he wants to make sure residents feel welcome to speak during meetings and local officials hear and respond to their concerns.

“We as their representatives do care about what’s happening in their neighborhood,” he said.

To improve the local economy, Henry said, he wants to review city polices that hinder business development and expansion, work to diversify the city’s economic base and to recruit companies that pay employees a living wage.

“We really need to bring about a new way of thinking as far as recruiting companies that will bring jobs here for all sectors of employment,” he said.

Henry attended Santa Fe Community College and graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in food science. Now a senior biological scientist at UF’s Interdisciplinary Center for Biotechnology Research, he has worked in research positions at the university for the past 38 years.

“Not only do I have a great understanding of my community at large,” he said, “but I also have a great understanding of the needs of the university and how both the university and the city can coexist as well.”

Henry said he wants to expand the partnership between the city and UF, but to also make Gainesville more economically independent from the university.

Transportation is another issue important to Henry.

“If people who don’t have cars can’t travel to seek employment and gain employment, then they’re facing an uphill battle,” he said.

The city should make the bus system more accessible to all city residents, he said. He wants to revisit the transit tax that was voted down in November and focus on repairing roads.

As of March 1, Henry received about $9,100 in donations, putting him fourth among the six candidates in campaign contributions. He has spent about $4,700.


This entry was posted in Politics and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Politics

Feds Take Aim at Scott ‘LIP’ Lawsuit

Federal officials filed documents Monday responding to a lawsuit by Gov. Rick Scott. The suit says the federal government “engaged in unconstitutional coercion” to make Florida expand its Medicaid program, while federal officials say this is a baseless claim.


Florida Advances To Online Voting Registration

Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill that would implement an online voter registration system for Florida. The system is planned to be in place by 2017.


Lopez-Cantera ‘Strongly Considering’ Senate Bid

Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera publicly confirmed Saturday that he is considering running for U.S. Senate in 2016. He announced his possible candidacy at the executive board meeting during the Republican Party of Florida’s quarterly meeting at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando.


Florida’s_Historic_Capitol_and_Florida_State_Capitol_2

Governor Scott Signs 28 Bills Into Law This Week

Governor Rick Scott signed almost three dozen bills into law this week. The new laws address issues ranging from revenge porn to the use of drones.


Marijuana graph

County Commissioners Discuss Misdemeanor Marijuana Issues

The Alachua County Sheriff’s Office performed a case study on marijuana charges from 2013 to 2014. Its findings sparked discussion about the appropriate response to stand-alone misdemeanor marijuana charges during Alachua County Commissioners meeting Tuesday.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments